Tata to make EV battery cells for JLR in Europe

Tata Group aims to accelerate Jaguar Land Rover’s shift to electric cars by setting up battery cell manufacturing operations in Europe.

JLR and Tata Motors will be the anchor customers for the facility, which will also sell battery cells to the wider market, said Tata Motors Chief Financial Officer, P.B. Balaji.

“We are well covered on the production plans for batteries, but we will require some cell capacity coming into Europe,” Balaji said at the India Auto Expo taking place this week on the outskirts of New Delhi.

Tata is finalizing plans and will announce details soon, he said, declining to disclose the location of the facility and a time frame. There will be a “lot of investments,” Balaji said, without elaborating.

The “intellectual property-heavy” facility will produce two cell chemistries — lithium iron phosphate for Tata Motors’ EVs and nickel manganese cobalt for the Indian automaker as well as JLR, Balaji said.

The plan should help the company better control critical parts of the supply chain, which has faced disruptions globally during the COVID pandemic.

Tata and Jaguar Land Rover benefit from being a part of larger ecosystem, Balaji said.

JLR has previously said that Jaguar, the smaller of its two brands, will be entirely electric by 2025, while Land Rover will get its first full-electric model in 2024.

The UK’s car industry has struggled in the aftermath of Brexit and in making the switch to EVs. The country has failed to attract much investment in large-scale cell facilities, beyond one owned by China’s Envision Group.

UK battery startup Britishvolt has said it is in talks with a consortium of investors about selling a majority stake in the company.

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