What is a Gigafactory?
A Gigafactory is vital to the future of automotive production. Such facilities produce and manufacture the latest battery technology, particularly for electric vehicles. Such factories have already been developed in other parts of the world – for example, by Tesla in the USA – but there is currently no Gigafactory in the UK.
The transfer to electric vehicles is happening now, driven by Government policy to phase out petrol and diesel engines by 2040 and reach Net Zero by 2050. This is both an existential threat to the UK’s automotive sector, and a once in a generation opportunity to take a global lead in automotive technology.
According to the Faraday Institution, a leading national independent research institute, without a UK Gigafactory to produce batteries and support wider electric vehicle manufacturing, direct automotive employment is 105,000 jobs fewer in 2040 than it otherwise would be.
Alternatively, by investing in battery manufacturing – including a Gigafactory – in the UK, the overall workforce within automotive and battery technology is expected to grow by 29% by 2040.