By Paul Homewood
So much for all those green jobs promised:
UK battery start-up Britishvolt has collapsed into administration, with the majority of its 300 staff made redundant with immediate effect.
Employees were told the news at an all-staff meeting on Tuesday morning.
The firm had planned to build a giant factory to make electric car batteries in Northumberland and was part a long-term vision to boost UK manufacturing.
But its board is believed to have decided on Monday that there were no viable bids to keep the company afloat.
Industry experts say the UK will need several battery factories to support the future of UK car making as petrol and diesel engines are phased out over the next decade.
The UK currently only has one Chinese-owned plant next to the Nissan factory in Sunderland, while 35 plants are planned or already under construction in the EU.
The root cause of this collapse is that the factory would have run at a loss for several years, until the EV market was mature enough to provide a full order book. Investors simply were not prepared to accept this.
No doubt high energy costs and competition from China for both batteries and cars were also points of concern.
Meanwhile our car manufacturers will soon have to start running down their engine plants, as 2030 approaches, with the inevitable job losses.
This whole saga is a reminder that you don’t create jobs through government diktat. Promises of hundreds of thousands of green jobs are simply a mirage.