Plans to place Britain at the epicentre of the green industrial revolution have taken a step forward with the launch of Greenpower Park - the UK Centre of Electrification and Clean Energy, based in Coventry. 

However, industry consultant and author Des Evans told MT the move doesn’t go far enough and that the UK needs at least three 35GW factories capable of producing 500,000 EV battery units per year in order to provide replacement engine power for the 1.5 million ICE vehicles currently being assembled.

“It’s potentially good news but still not enough,” he insisted. “The estimated cost of producing one of these factories is circa £3-4 billion and we need three of them. The estimated time to build one is four or five years so there is still a lot to do if the 2035 deadline is adhered to.

“On top of all that an adequate charging infrastructure still needs to be in place,” Evans added, “and the current experience of BEV financial services in relation to residual values needs to see significant improvement.

“Other than that it is business as usual with the internal combustion engine still in pride of place.”

With the West Midlands Gigafactory as its anchor tenant, the project has been designed to foster collaborations between industry, major academic institutions and stakeholders to drive the UK’s ambitions in leading the transition to a more sustainable energy future.

Greenpower Park is the only site in the UK with approved plans for a large-scale battery production facility with capacity for up to 60GWh - enough to power 600,000 electric vehicles and benefiting from significant incentives associated with investment zone status.

Combining endorsement from nine local universities and a local business sector, the Greenpower Park campus will support the development of new businesses and manufacturing facilities with a package of incentives, combining investment zone status, approved planning permission and regional incentives.

The centre aims to attract an inward investment of £2.5 billion - creating 6,000 highly skilled jobs with a number of Asian battery manufacturers reported to be already considering moving to the site.

Capitalising on a future workforce of over 210,000 local students enrolled in relevant degrees and vocational courses, it is hoped the launch will prove a pivotal moment in the UK’s transition to an electrified economy, as well as a significant leap forward in battery technology development and sustainable manufacturing practices.

“In a decisive stride towards fortifying Britain’s position as a global leader in electrification innovation, the unveiling of Greenpower Park with the West Midlands Gigafactory marks a transformative moment for the nation’s net zero landscape,” said Cllr Jim O’Boyle, cabinet member for jobs, regeneration and climate change at Coventry City Council.

“This ambitious initiative is not merely about setting the groundwork for the next generation of electric technologies and sustainable manufacturing practices. It is a clarion call to the world that the UK is open for business, ready to lead the charge in the green industrial revolution.

”With its strategic location, unprecedented financial support, academic partnerships, a ready-made skilled workforce, and oven-ready plans to build Britain’s biggest gigafactory, Greenpower Park is poised to become the cornerstone of the UK’s electrified future, driving forward our commitment to innovation, sustainability, and economic growth.”