Jaguar Land Rover in talks with Chinese firm BYD for batteries

Chinese battery specialist could produce EV battery cells in the UK if talks are successful, report claims.

Jaguar Land Rover is in talks with Chinese electric car maker BYD for the supply of EV batteries from a facility in the UK, it is being reported.

Automotive News Europe cites a source with knowledge of the talks, which if correct could potentially result in BYD installing a UK battery production hub operated independently of JLR.

Such a move would be a major boost to the UK’s battery cell production activity, which is modest in comparison to other big global players. The government launched the Faraday Battery Challenge in 2017 in an attempt to attract cell production to Britain.

The source also claims JLR and BYD are considering collaborating on the development of electric propulsion systems. The British maker already has an alliance with BMW for the development of electrified powertrains, formalised last year. It’s not clear if the BYD deal would change that or not.

BYD’s European presence was up until recently limited to electric buses, which it builds in Hungary and France. Last month it launched the Tang EV600, an electric SUV that will mark the firm’s entry into the market and is due to first go on sale in Norway later this year.

JLR is investing heavily in an electrified future. It is pumping AUD $1.8 billion into its Castle Bromwich and Solihull factories to overhaul them in preparation for a new modular platform that allows combustion engine, hybrid and fully electric propulsion options.

With the I-Pace electric SUV based on an older platform, it will form the basis for the upcoming XJ EV saloon, alongside the J-Pace flagship SUV and Land Rover’s upcoming ‘Road Rover’ model. It is thought Jaguar is also strongly considering turning the F-Type sports car into an EV in future, too.

JLR refused to comment on the speculation when contacted.

Lawrence Allan

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