British Volt Collapses into Administration


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.

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January 17, 2023 11:04 am

What else? they have nothing to show not even a working prototype battery !

Reply to  vuk
January 17, 2023 11:11 am

I spent a long time several months ago trying to find photos of the site showing how much of the construction had been done if the media stories were to be believed. All I could find was artists’ impressions or pictures of a levelled site with barries and a fence.

To expect to see even a solitary prototype battery is just as quixotic.

Reply to  quelgeek
January 17, 2023 12:18 pm

Another brick in the wall of the techno-utopia electrification schemes pulled away

Reply to  vuk
January 17, 2023 1:24 pm

Batteries are the new mania.

Peta of Newark
January 17, 2023 11:14 am

The West really has turned itself into a complete joke

From Net Zero Samizdat:Chinese consumers will buy about 8mn to 10mn EVs in 2023, up from record sales of 6.5mn vehicles last year and 3.5mn in 2021, according to company and analyst forecasts. This compares with nearly 3mn in Europe and 2mn in the US.

Reply to  Peta of Newark
January 17, 2023 12:50 pm

China’s population fell last year for the first time in six decades, a historic turn that is expected to mark the start of a long period of decline in its citizen numbers

Michael S. Kelly
Reply to  strativarius
January 17, 2023 8:37 pm

This isn’t new. The Chinese birth rate has been below maintenance level for some time, and it’s a problem they can’t fix. The only possible way out for them would be through an influx of immigrants. They don’t – and never will – allow such a thing, and even if they did, no one in his or her right mind would emigrate to Communist China.

Peter K
Reply to  Michael S. Kelly
January 18, 2023 1:59 am

In 2007 I was working in telecommunication company in Slovakia. One time we had around 7 colleagues going to China on few weeks business work trip. 5 of them found girlfriend in China, married and stayed there.
Never say no one… 🙂

Kit P
Reply to  Peter K
January 18, 2023 9:52 am

What China needs for population growth is American women of Chinese decent to return to have babies with the surplus male population so the CCP can stay in power.

Gary Pearse
Reply to  strativarius
January 17, 2023 9:02 pm

The Chinese went about this ev business correctly. Starting off with expensive, high priced autos needing huge batteries was backwards. Best to introduce a cheap ‘folk’s wagen ev’ for base income and get into high end stuff later. Also do it using the robust dispatchable energy grid. To try to juggle all the new tech balls at once is juvenile, no, idiotic. Of course the Chinese kept the old grid, too. They must think the West is terminally stupid.

Reply to  Peta of Newark
January 17, 2023 1:02 pm

The top 10 EVs in China in Fall 2022 were
Top 10 for the month:

  1. BYD Song Plus (BEV + PHEV): 56,863
  2. Wuling Hong Guang MINI EV: 41,255
  3. BYD Qin Plus (BEV + PHEV): 32,195
  4. BYD Han (BEV + PHEV): 31,468
  5. BYD Yuan Plus BEV: 26,648
  6. BYD Dolphin: 25,240
  7. BYD Tang (BEV + PHEV): 16,989
  8. GAC Aion S: 14,507
  9. Tesla Model Y: 14,391
  10. GAC Aion Y: 12,615

These are almost all compact and sub-compact cheap cars
The price range for BYDs is generally from 100,000 to 200,000 Yuan
which ia $14,763 to $29,525 in 2022 US dollars.

The cheapest Tesla in China would be about 300,000 Yuan or $44,288, which is not a big seller in China because of the price.

In the US the cheapest 2023 Tesla Model 3 starts at $43,990. That’s for the base version with rear-wheel drive and a maximum range of 272 miles. For those seeking maximum thrills in a Model 3 package, the Performance variant starts at just under $54K. It’s another $15K to add the Full Self-Driving Capability package to any version.

Michael S. Kelly
Reply to  Richard Greene
January 17, 2023 8:39 pm

You can buy a much cheaper electric car…but the batteries aren’t included.

Dave Andrews
Reply to  Michael S. Kelly
January 18, 2023 7:44 am

And it is batteries where China is dominant with 6 out of the top 10 EV battery manufacturers and 60% market share led by CATL and BYD.
In 2022 CATL had just over 37% of global market share and BYD 13.6%.
CALB with 4%, Gotion 2.8%/. Sunwoda 1.7% and Eve 1.3% made up the rest

January 17, 2023 11:19 am

No battery factories, no car factories. This is the UK deindustializing in front of us.

Keep this in mind when you hear the likes of Chris Skidmore gushing confidently about “trillions in inward investment” kick-starting our Green Renaissance (by which he means, us borrowing trillions from foreigners).

Well you know what? This shows not even the foreigners will spunk money over this clownish little island anymore. Get used to it.

Reply to  quelgeek
January 17, 2023 11:48 am

Sadly, I’m only allowed to give you one upvote for your post.

Reply to  quelgeek
January 17, 2023 11:48 am

Our political class has a lot to answer for. Prosperity sacrificed upon the altar of Net Zero. Our future is selling each other overpriced coffee, cutting each other’s hair and the young (usually Eastern European) wiping the arses of the old in care homes. What fun!

Last edited 2 months ago by lincsnick
Reply to  lincsnick
January 17, 2023 12:23 pm

In my area there used to be a food containers plastic factory, another making Sellotape, a tannery , a brick works. All gone now its big box retail , self storage units, and used car lots

Reply to  quelgeek
January 17, 2023 1:12 pm

no car factories“: this is the same as happened in Australia, due to a number of causes:

  1. Removal of import duties
  2. High labour costs
  3. High energy costs
Reply to  Hivemind
January 17, 2023 1:31 pm

And unions getting court orders to bar manufacturers from having direct talks with their employees.

This was the point at which Toyota said –

“Why are we copping this? What are we doing here?
Sayounara Austraria!”

May Contain Traces of Seafood
Reply to  Mr.
January 17, 2023 3:43 pm

Mitsubishi went the same way. The unions looked at the cost breakdowns, found labour was actually a relatively low cost overall and then ‘stated’ that if it was a low cost it the company could afford to pay the workers more.

Eventually Head Office just cut the lot.

Also didn’t help that the final grasp was designing a car no one really wanted (the A380) and then looking blankly when it didn’t suddenly dominate the local market.

Got a lot of spill over into my industry when Mitsubishi Adelaide closed up. A lot of them were VERY average engineers. A lot of mind set of ‘the company owes me a job’ and ‘I am here, what else do you want?’ rather than, ‘I’m a professional, I do professional work’. Most of them were gaming the system and proud of it.

Reply to  quelgeek
January 17, 2023 3:00 pm

Should I start investing in horse stables and shoe factories in the UK? Nevermind, the WEF says we won’t even need to leave the house in the “utopian” future they have planned for us.

Last edited 2 months ago by leowaj
Elliot W
Reply to  leowaj
January 18, 2023 12:13 pm

Shoemakers who make handmade products from old car tires? Remember Oxford and the 15 Minute City.

Dave Andrews
Reply to  quelgeek
January 18, 2023 7:52 am

China already has a 60% share of global battery production. It was naive to believe a UK start up without even a proper concept for a battery could get anywhere and the Government totally failed to do any due diligence on British Volt.

Reply to  Dave Andrews
January 18, 2023 9:04 am

If there was a proof-of-concept product and a credible business plan the private sector would have been all over this from the start. There should never have been any need for government due diligence.

BritishVolt going tango uniform is embarrasing and sad, but not because it didn’t get to suck long enough on the public teat. It’s sad because it could never have ended any other way and we are now forced to see that.

I can’t decide if the government knew it was a farce and saved the tax payer from getting too far in, or if they thought it was the real deal but were too clueless to understand how much money it would have burn through to stay afloat just a little longer. Either way, we have cut our inevitable losses.

Now the horrible truth is a little harder to ignore.

January 17, 2023 12:13 pm

The “plan” is working. Bankrupt Western economies with fake AGW claims and outsourcing based on “carbon reduction”, both of which are being taken up by China and India. Nothing but wealth redistribution and the politicians that don’t see what’s happening are either useful idiots or fellow travelers.

Reply to  mleskovarsocalrrcom
January 17, 2023 2:08 pm

! am sure you are right that the plan is to de industrialize western countries .
Even if it is not the plan that is what is happening .
World politicians are blinded by the fake science of climate change that is incessantly pushed by the world wide media .
At some time in the future ,and I hope it is sooner than later ,some wise men will wake up and see that these stupid policies can only lead to poverty and starvation .
I won’t be around to read the history books about when the world leaders deliberately destroyed their countries manufacturing industries because of an unproven theory pushed by crooked scientists in a vain quest to save the world ..

Tim Gorman
Reply to  Graham
January 17, 2023 3:05 pm

George Soros (and compatriots) made their billions by shorting currencies (England, Japan, Thailand, etc) after working to destroy their economies, mainly in the 90’s. The US, Germany, and England (again) are his current targets for doing the same thing today.

Ben Vorlich
Reply to  Tim Gorman
January 17, 2023 10:57 pm

Could I nitpick here, we’re the United Kingdom not England which is just one of the four nations of England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland that form a single nation

Reply to  Ben Vorlich
January 18, 2023 2:10 am

I think what he meant was England, Hokkaido, Phuket, Texas, Bavaria and England (again).

January 17, 2023 12:16 pm

I predict that this EV mandate nonsense is going to end up crippling the automotive industry if not outright killing some major players. The industry is spending billions to produce a product that no one wants or needs while at the same time killing of the product lines that people want and are willing to buy. All because of government mandate.

Just because you build it does not mean that they will come.

January 17, 2023 12:44 pm

It’s the curse of Ehrlich I tell you

January 17, 2023 1:03 pm

Musk tweeted: “Tesla drives itself (no human input at all) thru urban streets to highway to streets, then finds a parking spot.”
Guardian:wrote: not true.

January 17, 2023 1:06 pm

Wow. No one could have seen this one coming. /s

January 17, 2023 1:12 pm
Dave Andrews
Reply to  ResourceGuy
January 18, 2023 8:11 am

In Europe all 5 wind turbine manufacturers have been operating at a loss for over a year and are unable to invest in new projects. Factories have shut in Germany, Spain and Denmark, Europe’s traditional wind strongholds. Chinese manufacturers have won contracts in France, Italy, Croatia and Serbia. The industry has been frantically lobbying the EC for more subsidies.

Reply to  Dave Andrews
January 18, 2023 9:11 am

This right here deserves an enquiry. If we can’t make a success of building stuff for which there is a seemingly insatiable appetite, what are we doing wrong? Seriously, who is letting us down? And how? Find them. Put them behind bars. Seriously.

(None of this is to imply that I approve of wind turbines in any way.)

January 17, 2023 1:36 pm

It is hard to beat China at manufacturing anything because they are able to source a lot of coal internally at a price below global average. And have no reluctance to burn the stuff for its energy content.

One thing that could save local battery manufacturing is to ban the transport of electric cars that include a battery. They remain a serious fire risk – a very dangerous cargo that will be increasingly expensive to insure.

Lithium-ion batteries ‘keeping the fire alive’ on burning cargo ship carrying luxury cars

Reply to  RickWill
January 17, 2023 1:58 pm

According to astrophysics brains there is shortage of lithium, a ‘primordial’ treath to EVs dominance of our planet.

Reply to  RickWill
January 18, 2023 1:19 am

sadly, there is no actual ‘evidence’ of this ‘acceptable to the powers that be’.
whilst i think it is intuitively obvious that it is true, until there is an outcome of a proper enquiry, it wont help. and there wont be one in tis case. just guesswork.
desperatley sad and dangerous.
unles you have other info of course?…..

Dave Andrews
Reply to  RickWill
January 18, 2023 8:15 am

Problem with that solution is Chinese manufacturers already have a 60% share of global EV battery production.

Rud Istvan
January 17, 2023 1:48 pm

Went and read up on them. Was never a lot of substance to the company. Could not raise the initial tranche of capital, in part because they had no real battery/cell experts/engineers. Those are all in China (eg BYD) or at LG Chem in Korea or Panasonic in Japan. GM relies on LG, and Tesla is partnered with Panasonic. Tesla makes the battery but Panasonic makes all the cells inside it.

Reply to  Rud Istvan
January 18, 2023 1:21 am

tesla use 18650 cells. whic, interestingly is a standard for external dimensions only. nothing else. 18mm x 65mm

Reply to  peteturbo
January 18, 2023 9:14 pm

Think you will find that Tesla moved in from 18650 cells a long time ago.

Krishna Gans
January 17, 2023 2:09 pm
Reply to  Krishna Gans
January 17, 2023 3:58 pm

They must have got rid of the Web Team before they had a change to close down the web site. Perhaps this points to the Managements’ ability to manage anything.

Tom in Florida
Reply to  Krishna Gans
January 17, 2023 3:59 pm

January 17, 2023 3:27 pm

Is this the beginning of the collapse of the EV house of cards?
It’s only a matter of time

May Contain Traces of Seafood
Reply to  Joy
January 17, 2023 3:46 pm

and once the house does collapse those batteries are going to burn for weeks…


Reply to  May Contain Traces of Seafood
January 18, 2023 7:30 am

Seriously if it did, it would keep the EV conversation gong long enough for some light to shine on the tangled mes. Much of the public, although I believe they’re not with the climate alarmist side, *despite years of forcing the issue, public aren’t taking notice of some of the juicier details which would show it up for what it is.
Financial speculation masquerading like Flash Gordon

It doesnot add up
January 17, 2023 6:58 pm

…and another one bites the dust.

January 17, 2023 7:36 pm

Well, no doubt all the right people in the company went home after collecting nice, fat salaries with the help of whatever grants and tax breaks they received along the way. Granted, I could be completely wrong about this particular company. Maybe they really were completely proper. But if the history is anything to go by in regards to most of these companies when they fail, it wouldn’t surprise me if there were over-inflated salaries in there somewhere.

Gary Pearse
January 17, 2023 8:44 pm

Looking at the plant in the pic, ask yourself how do you go about administering this? I think the job has to be just to scrap it? It also begs the question, if the manufacturers can’t make a go of it, and the investors are cutting their losses, how much longer can governments carry on with this totally impossibly silly idea. I hope the investors are the billionaire trough feeders and not the managers of British pension funds.

Reply to  Gary Pearse
January 17, 2023 10:22 pm

Looking at the plant in the pic, 

It’s a CGI, the factory doesn’t exist

January 18, 2023 1:50 am

I love all the pretty solar panels on the roof. Evidently they weren’t expecting to run the factory overnight….

January 18, 2023 1:55 am

Here’s how far they got with building their fancy factory.

January 18, 2023 2:06 am

As some other commenters have noted here: trying to create jobs by govt diktat rarely goes well. It’s market forces that create jobs and grow a brand/product. For instance:
Electric bicycles have taken off here in my home town of London. Couriers and food delivery people started using them as they were a lot easier to use all day than a regular bicycle. Then, other people such as myself, noting how good these bikes were, bought them for themselves to commute to work. Mine is great as it gets me up the steep hill to work and I don’t arrive at work in a sweaty and tired mess.
I bought my bike from a small English company called Big Game Bikes (shameless plug for a great small company run by one guy). The business owner had spotted a gap in a growing market and built a company to fill that gap. Successful market forces at work.
Electric cars are struggling because the govt is trying to create a market with a product that really isn’t fit for purpose. Maybe over time as electric car tech improves, people will start buying them of their own accord. However, the govt is trying to force it on people by banning ICEVs. This will not work.

Ed Zuiderwijk
January 18, 2023 2:20 am

If you need more proof that the climate scam is run by amateurs then look no further. The problem of the West is that its ruling classes love amateurs because it makes them feel on an equal footing. They are, therefore, no match for the rationalists in China. It will end badly for all of us.

Mark BLR
January 18, 2023 6:32 am

Here in France they can at least get Li-ion battery factories up and running … but then they unfortunately let the stockpile catch fire …

Note that the TV coverage here had dramatic video of the “thick black smoke” heading towards the nearby city (Rouen), which surprised me a bit as I remembered Li-ion fires as tending to emit more white smoke.

Then I saw how the linked article started :

A large fire that broke out on Monday in Normandy at a warehouse of Bollore Logistics , storing thousands of lithium batteries, was now “contained”, local authorities said on Tuesday.

The Seine-Maritime prefecture said on Twitter that the fire which started at 1630 (1530 GMT) on Monday at the lithium storage facility in the town of Grand-Couronne near Rouen, and spread to a nearby storage facility for tires belonging to the Districash company, was contained by 2330 local time.

“Let’s build the Li-ion battery factory right next to a tire storage depot” … it looks like the French are just as good at “joined-up thinking” as us (local and ex-pat) Brits …

January 19, 2023 10:02 am

To be fair, the article mentioned 36 other plants ahead of them. With the current market maybe enough to support one or two, it’s really just that this company had bad timing as opposed to an indictment of the market as a whole.

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