British Volt Logo. Fair use, low resolution image to identify the subject.

Parliamentary Inquiry – UK Green Jobs Narrative Unravelling

Essay by Eric Worrall

Politicians have moved to shore up public faith in their green investment / jobs narrative, by launching a parliamentary inquiry into why British electric vehicle manufacturing companies are faltering.

Business Committee opens UK electric vehicle battery production inquiry

17 January 2023

The Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy Committee launcheds new inquiry into the supply of batteries for electric vehicle manufacture in the UK, and the viability of battery manufacturing for electric vehicles in the UK.

The new inquiry launches after the industry suffered a series of setbacks, including today’s announcement that Government-championed battery start-up Britishvolt entered administration laying off 300 employees.

In October, BMW announced it will end production of the electric Mini in Oxford.

It leaves Chinese-backed Envision’s site in Sunderland that supplies Nissan as Britain’s only manufacturer ahead of the looming ban on the sale of petrol and diesel vehicles in 2030.

Chair’s comments

Committee Chair Darren Jones said:

“The future of car manufacturing in the UK is dependent on our ability to make electric vehicles, and to be able to export them into the EU.

That means we need local supplies of electric vehicle batteries – something we’re falling significantly behind on compared to other parts of the world.

This inquiry will look at what’s holding back the development of electric car batteries in the UK and what needs to be done to protect the thousands of jobs across the country in this important sector.”

Terms of reference

The Committee is calling for evidence to be submitted to the Committee’s website by 14 February from people with knowledge or experience of the industry answering any of the following questions:

  • Is there enough UK vehicle manufacturing demand in the UK to support gigafactories?
  • Will the UK have sufficient battery production supplies by 2025 and 2030 respectively to meet the government phase-out plans for petrol and diesel vehicles?
  • Is UK-based battery production necessary to support the manufacture of electric vehicles in the UK?
  • What are the risks to the UK automotive industry of not establishing sufficient battery manufacturing capacity in the UK?
  • What other domestic end uses for batteries would provide a market for UK battery production?
  • Does the UK have a sufficient supply of critical materials to support vehicle battery production?
  • How ready are UK vehicle producers for the EU-UK Trade and Cooperation Agreement (TCA) rules of origin (ROO) phasing in from 2024?
  • What can the UK learn from investment in other countries in the establishment of gigafactories?
  • Do we have the skills in the workforce required for the production of batteries? If not, what needs to be done?
  • Will the cost of UK batteries be competitive compared with batteries produced elsewhere?
  • What impact will the European Union’s proposed Carbon Border Adjustment Mechanism have on UK production?

Further information

Image: CC Argonne National Laboratory

Source: https://committees.parliament.uk/committee/365/business-energy-and-industrial-strategy-committee/news/175490/business-committee-opens-uk-electric-vehicle-battery-production-inquiry/

The problem is obvious, except perhaps to Westminster politicians.

China is the global centre of renewable and battery manufacturing, because China has kept their costs low. China uses cheap coal energy and slave labour to manufacture renewable energy, battery and green vehicle components. China then exports their cheap, blood drenched product to Western countries run by economic illiterates.

Energy intensive manufacturing has no future in Britain, so long as Britain’s energy prices remain uncompetitively high. Unless Britain changes course, in the long term Britain will be relegated to assembling energy intensive components manufactured by others, and contributing the occasional high value component which leverages Britain’s precision engineering excellence.

Wasting taxpayer subsidies and political capital on supporting green national champions like British Volt, without addressing the underlying issues, just delays the inevitable.

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ilma630
January 18, 2023 2:12 am

[Should that be “…moved to shore up public…”? :)]

CampsieFellow
Reply to  ilma630
January 18, 2023 2:20 am

No. To sure up public faith means to make it more sure. It is absolutely necessary to sure up public faith because the public has no faith in what the politicians tell them. (Sarc)
But which is it?
into why British electric vehicle manufacturing companies are faltering.

Business Committee opens UK electric vehicle battery production inquiry

And to the idiot who wrote the original article, “The new inquiry launches” should read “The new enquiry has been launched” or better still, “The new enquiry has been set up..”

Last edited 11 days ago by CampsieFellow
Scissor
Reply to  ilma630
January 18, 2023 5:06 am

“shove up” also works.

May Contain Traces of Seafood
Reply to  ilma630
January 18, 2023 5:51 pm

Just get the media to say that the aim of the committee is to raze public support of Green Energy…

It doesnot add up
Reply to  ilma630
January 19, 2023 1:54 am

From shore (“to provide with support”) + up. Shore is derived from Late Middle English shoren (“to prop, to support”) [and other forms],[1][2] from shore (“a prop, a support”) [and other forms],[3] + -en (suffix forming the infinitive form of verbs);[4] while shore (noun) is from Middle Dutch schore, schare (“a prop, a stay”) (modern Dutch schoor), and Middle Low German schōre, schāre (“a prop, a stay; barrier; stockade”) (compare Old Norse skorða (“a prop, a stay”) (Norwegian skor, skorda)); further etymology unknown.[5]

Timbers to prop up the roof of a mine are also known as shores.

Last edited 10 days ago by It doesnot add up
Leo Smith
January 18, 2023 2:15 am

ITYM shore up, Eric.

Gunga Din
Reply to  Eric Worrall
January 18, 2023 6:45 am

Rite spelling. Wrong word. 😎

Redge
Reply to  Eric Worrall
January 18, 2023 9:47 am

Yep, I blame spell correct https://s.w.org/images/core/emoji/14.0.0/svg/1f642.svg

My worst enema

barryjo
Reply to  Redge
January 18, 2023 3:36 pm

Wow. a misteak-free entry.

Leo Smith
January 18, 2023 2:17 am

As usual, ArtStudents™ in government rush to throw taxpayer money at what looks attractive, to gullible voters, rather than what actually works.
Next time put the dosh into nuclear.

bobpjones
Reply to  Leo Smith
January 18, 2023 4:07 am

Yes, especially in subjects like Greek Mythology, and other myths.

alastairgray29yahoocom
Reply to  bobpjones
January 18, 2023 5:21 am

You might at least expect them to take a leaf out of Prometheus’s book and give us some warmth rather than leaving the population to shoulder Atlas’burden. You might also say that the Road to Net Zero is like slaying a many headed Hydra. or that it is a veritable Maze of Minos with a Minotaur lurking in the middle to decapitate what remains of our economy. Of course Boris eamong others of his ilk paid particular attention to Narcissus and spent too much time admiring his bouffant locks in the mirror when not passing around the nectar, ambrosia. Prosecco and cocaine at the parties at No10, Mount Olympus
However, it is not as if Keir Starmer is up to the task of cleansing the Augean stables as he is up to his knees in excrement pondering the Gordian knot that is the Riddle of “What is a woman
Meanwhile in the Land of the Golden Fleece (Crimea) we move in Circassian circles baiting the bear.

ThinkingScientist
January 18, 2023 2:26 am

God save us from incompetent politicians:

Committee Chair Darren Jones said:

“The future of car manufacturing in the UK is dependent on our ability to make electric vehicles, and to be able to export them into the EU.”

Only because governments are mandating EVs. So were screwed by government policy.

“This inquiry will look at what’s holding back the development of electric car batteries in the UK…”

I can answer that one – not enough people want EVs, too little demand, too expensive, not fit for purpose technology etc

“…and what needs to be done to protect the thousands of jobs across the country in this important sector.”

Get rid of Net Zero and don’t ban ICE vehicles. Back to normal and lots of jobs then.

Chasmsteed
Reply to  ThinkingScientist
January 18, 2023 4:41 am

Ah yes – but he’s already framed the questions that need answering.

Submissions like your spot on answer will be binned as outside the frame of reference.

Like the whole farrago it is constructed to fail because no one can (or wants to) face the awful truth.

CD in Wisconsin
Reply to  ThinkingScientist
January 18, 2023 9:11 am

Politicians with a Marxist-like central planning mindset who don’t bother with a marketing analysis or feasibility study before plunging into a game plan like this are a recipe for failure.

It’s only after the money is spent (and wasted) and the damage is done that they might begin to realize they’ve been listening to the wrong people. But by then, it’s too late.

Whether it’s EVs or wind and solar energy, you ignore sound science and engineering at your peril.

MarkW
Reply to  CD in Wisconsin
January 18, 2023 1:53 pm

More often than not, they will just blame the people who are doing the actual work for not being good enough, or insufficiently dedicated to the cause.

Phillip Bratby
January 18, 2023 2:32 am

Spot on with your comments Eric.

Ed Zuiderwijk
January 18, 2023 2:50 am

The most important question is not in the list. Will the UK produce enough electricity to keep all those projected and anticipated batteries topped up and ready for use? A: no it will not be and every day more people will realize that.

bobpjones
Reply to  Ed Zuiderwijk
January 18, 2023 4:10 am

Imagine being laid off for two weeks due to a lack of wind!

gezza1298
Reply to  bobpjones
January 18, 2023 4:50 am

Perhaps that is something we are missing. When there is not enough wind to charge your battery car, there isn’t enough wind to run your job either so you stay at home and wait for the siren to go off that says back to work.

ATheoK
Reply to  Ed Zuiderwijk
January 19, 2023 8:24 pm

Will the UK produce enough electricity to keep all those projected and anticipated batteries topped up and ready for use?”

Sounds like an expected technical breaking point range and panic period could be calculated and possible grid failure breaking dates suggested.

  • (A technical breakpoint doesn’t translate to day by day calendar occurrence. The breakpoint will occur on some well known date, usually around holidays and cold fronts when the technical failure range is reached.)

We could consider investing in the various stocks, funds, call/put transactions plus stocks to short that are affected by grid failure and electric car owner meltdowns.
Once you know a mandated business crippling period, the rest is easy.

Is there a bar where the ministers and PM go to drink emotional numbing liquids? One that is has a trading acronym? Or the brands they prefer?

Of course it would be horrible if the ministers manage to kill companies dependent upon high levels of electricity fast enough…

strativarius
January 18, 2023 3:00 am

This news comes with bad timing. Blink and you would have missed it on the MSM. There is another issue that will be front and centre of Parliamentary thinking. Despite the opposition of most Scots, Nicola Sturgeon’s SNP bulldozed its Gender act through Holyrood.

“Nicola Sturgeon is angry. The SNP leader’s pet project, of making it easier for people in Scotland to change gender, has been stopped in its tracks. Thanks to an 11th-hour intervention from UK prime minister Rishi Sunak, making use of powers enshrined in Section 35 of the Scotland Act, the Gender Recognition Reform (Scotland) Bill will no longer go forward for royal assent and will not be passed into law. Thank goodness.”

https://www.spiked-online.com/2023/01/17/why-sturgeons-gender-bill-had-to-be-stopped/

Sturgeon has decided to try to challenge the primacy of UK [Equality] law. This is exercising the chattering classes. Britishvolt, not so.

“Darren Jones said: “The future of car manufacturing in the UK is dependent on our ability to make electric vehicles, and to be able to export them into the EU.”

And yet he knows that Scottish yards only a few miles from the Seagreen offshore windfarm were denied the contracts which were given to China and UAE – there go more ‘green’ manufacturing jobs.

Did you hear the one about the oil Baron leading COP28?

michel
Reply to  strativarius
January 18, 2023 6:04 am

Except, Strativarius, Sturgeon’s project was not to make it easier for people to change gender. As far as I know, gender, being of the male or female gender, does not figure in either English or Scottish law. What the Bill does is to make it easier to change sex.

There is of course complete confusion about the relation between sex and gender as you can see from asking the apparently simple question: how many genders are there?

Its rather like global warming became climate change. We started out knowing what we were talking about, and then not so much…

strativarius
Reply to  michel
January 18, 2023 7:03 am

It’s to make a case for… independence

Which I would welcome

Last edited 11 days ago by strativarius
Redge
Reply to  strativarius
January 18, 2023 9:53 am

I should have read your response before answering

And I agree, it’s time to let the Scots sink or swim

michel
Reply to  strativarius
January 18, 2023 3:45 pm

Saint Nicola now wants to lead a full fledged attack on the Scottish whisky industry, and also on the oil and gas industry. Because Climate, you see. And its only the wicked climate denying Westminster Parliament that stands in the way of making Scotland a world leader in wind power, closing down its whisky and oil industries, and moving to the new green millenium powering itself from all its wind, which the SNP claimed to be several times its actual size until some fools of scientists published the real numbers.

Thus terminating their careers.

And its only Westminster that stands in the way of Saint Nicola leading Scotland into a brave new world of the total emancipation of the masses of trans people from their current oppression and slavery. That probably has something to do with climate as well.

It is only because she is unable to tolerate this oppressive resistance and thwarting of her and Scotland’s progressive impulses by Westminster that she will shortly be accepting a post in Brussels. Or someplace outside Scotland.

Because actually what is motivating Nicola more than anything else is a determination not to be the one in charge when Scotland does get its independence. And to put off that day as long as possible, to give her time to get another job, preferably with lots of clear blue water between her and Scotland, before that happens.

Redge
Reply to  strativarius
January 18, 2023 9:52 am

Despite the opposition of most Scots, Nicola Sturgeon’s SNP bulldozed its Gender act through Holyrood.

Maybe she’s using the issue to show the Scottish people that the English won’t allow the Scots to have their own laws, so the Scots need independence.

Matt Kiro
January 18, 2023 3:25 am

Don’t forget that China has a near monopoly on the raw materials needed to make the batteries. While the West has been destroying their cheap energy capacity, China has been securing mining deals where all the metals needed are.

commieBob
Reply to  Matt Kiro
January 18, 2023 4:44 am

Indeed. The reason all the processing goes on in China is the (perhaps formerly) cheap labor and the lax environmental standards.

Folks have noticed that the Chinese dominance in processing and manufacturing is a problem. Even Walks With Unicorns (the Canadian PM’s indigenous name) has noticed. link

Thing 2 is that it’s darn hard to start an auto maker. Most such attempts fail. There’s also the question of why the formerly thriving British auto industry failed. They should have an inquiry into why anyone would think a new auto maker could succeed.

Last edited 11 days ago by commieBob
strativarius
Reply to  commieBob
January 18, 2023 4:56 am

“The reason all the processing goes on in China is the (perhaps formerly) cheap labor and the lax environmental standards.”

As Ellen Ripley opined; Predators go where the meat is.

Last edited 11 days ago by strativarius
R Taylor
Reply to  commieBob
January 18, 2023 2:47 pm

I like Walks With Unicorns but, as the leader of a Natural Ruling Party, a truer name would be Dances With Toadies.

Hysteria
Reply to  Matt Kiro
January 18, 2023 5:59 am

They will hopefully get to this issue when they tackle this question in their terms of reference

Does the UK have a sufficient supply of critical materials to support vehicle battery production?

Dave Andrews
Reply to  Matt Kiro
January 18, 2023 8:45 am

Plus Chinese battery manufacturers already have a 60% share of the global market and are going in one direction only.

Right-Handed Shark
January 18, 2023 4:00 am

Why do they need an inquiry? It must be obvious even to the most indoctrinated MP that the net zero fiasco is impossible, just by the amount of materials required:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MBVmnKuBocc&t=2519s

To say nothing about the fact that none of this nonsense is even necessary.

bobpjones
Reply to  Right-Handed Shark
January 18, 2023 4:13 am

You just can’t beat a good cud chewing session, a politician’s delight.

Tom Johnson
January 18, 2023 4:10 am

Unless Britain changes course, in the long term Britain will be relegated to assembling energy intensive components manufactured by others, and contributing the occasional high value component which leverages Britain’s precision engineering excellence.”

Britain’s “precision engineering excellence” Is but one university generation from DIEing. DIE (diversity inclusion equity) will easily kill it in just the time it takes for one undergraduate student to become a professor. It may already be dead in the UK.

John Hultquist
Reply to  Tom Johnson
January 18, 2023 6:14 pm

” Britain will be relegated to assembling energy intensive components manufactured by others,”

My thought was: What is it that will give Britain this manufacturing sector. Why won’t a better place be found to assemble components? There will be a lower cost node (labor, energy, cost of living, and better weather) where, as an investor, I would be able to assemble something.

Peta of Newark
January 18, 2023 5:04 am

Gotta love the understatement:”UK Green Jobs Narrative Unravelling
The entire UK and most of Europe is in total meltdown

Ben Vorlich
January 18, 2023 5:20 am

Someone else writing about the joys of eMotoring.

How easy is it to charge an electric car on a long journey and what does it cost? I found out by driving 350 miles in a Volvo C40
https://www.walesonline.co.uk/news/motoring/motoring-features/how-easy-charge-electric-car-25989706

If you do mostly long journeys, the current expense of using service station chargers starts to make this a lot more difficult. If I had done all of my charging on the 79p charger, for example, my total cost would have been even more – £130 – nearly three times the diesel price.
And none of this takes into account two other crucial factors – the cost of the car itself and the environmental aspect. With electric cars obviously emitting no carbon into the atmosphere, you may well be willing to pay a premium to be green.

The C40 only comes as an electric vehicle – indeed, it is the first Volvo nameplate in its history to do so. The other option is the single-motor 231hp Recharge version, which offers less in terms of performance – 62mph in 7.4 seconds – but does give you slightly quicker charging and better economy, on paper at least. It comes in at £47,100, while our test car is £61,950

JamesB_684
Reply to  Ben Vorlich
January 18, 2023 6:07 am

EVs emit copious CO2 … during the manufacturing phase, and through the generation of electricity via fossil fuels, which is how most electricity is still generated. That CO2 isn’t emitted from the vehicle directly, but it’s still produced.

Redge
Reply to  JamesB_684
January 18, 2023 9:56 am

Yeah, yeah, yeah, but that’s a different sort of CO2, it’s good CO2 and I planted a Tulip

MarkW
Reply to  Ben Vorlich
January 18, 2023 7:56 am

Fast charging is murder on battery life.

BobM
Reply to  Ben Vorlich
January 18, 2023 11:00 am

350 miles is not a “long journey” by any means. I routinely do 650 miles in a 9 1/2 hour trip with one stop for gas. Chevy Impala, 17 1/2 gallon tank, getting 30-31 mpg. All but 20 miles is Interstate driving, 65-80 mph.

Interesting to see this was actually 2 “long journeys” of 175 miles each. Makes the comparison even worse. Doing my journey would also have the cost of an overnight stay in a hotel.

barryjo
Reply to  BobM
January 18, 2023 3:44 pm

A good illustration of why EV’s are a niche item only. Local travel only. Similar to wind and solar. Niche market, never suitable for baseload.

stevekj
Reply to  Ben Vorlich
January 19, 2023 8:21 am

I notice he also didn’t count as a “cost” the 1.5 hours he had to spend waiting for charging, which he could otherwise have spent on more efficient pursuits (unless he carries a work laptop with him, or something). And that was when other people weren’t already occupying the charging stations he wanted to use. What is your time worth? Mine is a lot more than $0.

niceguy12345
January 18, 2023 5:42 am

Nothing will make progress until agencies admit they have been making nuclear scarier, costlier, more complicated than needed.

The French Academies have published a report a long time ago, making clear that radiation is a trivial risk for all the living animals. Of course our state nuclear thingy, the CEA (now “Commissariat à l’Énergie Atomique et aux Énergies Alternatives” lol) failed to promote it.

Hysteria
January 18, 2023 5:56 am

When they get into this question hopefully there will be a dawning realisation of what’s going to happen

“Does the UK have a sufficient supply of critical materials to support vehicle battery production?”

DavsS
Reply to  Hysteria
January 18, 2023 9:45 am

The rate at which reality dawns on the average politician is S….L…..O….W.

michel
January 18, 2023 6:09 am

Yes, its not going to work. Without a UK battery producer its going to be too expensive to export UK cars to Europe. They will not count as UK made, and so will attract higher tariffs. So sales will have to be in the UK. But the problem is, the EVs are too expensive and are impossible to charge reliably and quickly, so many current car uses become impossible.

There are no plans to increase the generating capacity of the country enough to make charging all the planned EVs possible. On the contrary, by insisting on moving to wind and solar the existing charging capacity is being destroyed.

The result has to be the wreck of car manufacture in the UK. And over a longer time period, the disappearance of most car ownership in the UK. And huge and desperate efforts, and a whole new industry, devoted to keeping 20 and 30 year old cars going, as the sale of new ICE ones is banned.

From 2030, if the government keeps on its present course. Plan on buying one in 2028, and hold on to it.

Lee Riffee
Reply to  michel
January 18, 2023 7:26 am

I can see this happening in parts of the US….Cubafornia is a good example. Businesses that repair ICE vehicles and supply parts for them will be in business a long, long time. And I can see sales of ICE vehicles exploding a year or two before the ban deadline.

Elliot W
Reply to  Lee Riffee
January 18, 2023 12:03 pm

California will ban the sale of gas/diesel to run ICE vehicles.

quelgeek
Reply to  michel
January 18, 2023 8:43 am

No, you should buy a relatively primitive older vehicle with lots of generic parts and minimal electronics. I have recently restored a twenty year old vehicle that I got with amazingly low mileage for its age. I expect it to last for as long as I remain medically fit to drive, say another twenty years. I think that is realistic because my last car was well over thirty years old when I sold it, tatty but still running.

My son’s much newer car has been off the road since before Christmas because he can’t get parts.

quelgeek
January 18, 2023 6:31 am

Parliamentary enquiries are always run by someone deemed a “safe pair of hands”. It ensures they come to the correct conclusion.

Darren Jones was closely involved with the UK Climate Change Assembly and his wife is the founder of a renewable energy company.

We can be confident his enquiry will ask no awkward questions about Net Zero. It will pursue with terrible zeal the traitors who failed to deliver the mandated number of unicorns.

strativarius
Reply to  quelgeek
January 18, 2023 7:07 am

The conclusion forms the parameters

Murphda
January 18, 2023 8:55 am

Sorry to say, but the third world is preparing their welcome party for the UK as climate/energy polices impoverish the nation and drive away industry.

Elliot W
Reply to  Murphda
January 18, 2023 12:06 pm

Sorry to say, but last time I visited the UK, it looked liked the Third World was already in residence. It’ll be a “welcome home” party when it’s official.

John Oliver
January 18, 2023 9:10 am

I believe they will find some way to keep pushing ahead with the insanity. Many of these people are “true believers “ . They have absolutely convinced them selves that there will be a rapid escalation suddenly causing ice sheets to go slip sliding into the ocean and water will be sloshing around the foot hills of the Smokey Mountains. And it will be hot too. Greta has proclaimed it.

Smart Rock
January 18, 2023 9:22 am

Regardless of the economic feasibility of making EV batteries in a country with high energy costs, high labour costs and zero mineral resources of its own – this story is a classic illustration of making business decisions in response to government policies and strategies; and not in response to actual market demand for the product.

Dennis Gerald Sandberg
January 18, 2023 10:08 am

The solution is obvious to every liberal/progressive/alarmist that ever lived. A dramatic ‘carbon” tax will solve the battery crisis.

mikelowe2013
January 18, 2023 10:34 am

So they are not expected to investigate the obvious: “Will there be sufficient electricity generation to charge all those batteries?”. Or do the politicians involved actually think batteries charge themselves?

Energywise
January 18, 2023 12:03 pm

Great news for the reality return
This virtue signalling, taxpayer funded behemoth would happily fund continued child labour abuse in DRoC, whilst proudly , perversely flaunting its green credentials
Im glad it’s fallen and can’t wait for renewables scrappage year

observa
January 19, 2023 4:39 am

Anything you can flop we can flop better-
https://7news.com.au/lifestyle/motoring/electric-car-battery-gigafactory-to-be-built-in-geelong-c-9478602
We can flop anything better than you.

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