U.S. Markets closed
  • S&P Futures

    4,135.00
    -11.75 (-0.28%)
     
  • Dow Futures

    32,691.00
    -66.00 (-0.20%)
     
  • Nasdaq Futures

    13,191.25
    -37.50 (-0.28%)
     
  • Russell 2000 Futures

    1,916.80
    -5.00 (-0.26%)
     
  • Crude Oil

    88.83
    -0.18 (-0.20%)
     
  • Gold

    1,790.10
    -1.10 (-0.06%)
     
  • Silver

    19.81
    -0.03 (-0.16%)
     
  • EUR/USD

    1.0179
    -0.0008 (-0.0814%)
     
  • 10-Yr Bond

    2.8400
    +0.1640 (+6.13%)
     
  • Vix

    21.15
    -0.29 (-1.35%)
     
  • GBP/USD

    1.2072
    +0.0001 (+0.0084%)
     
  • USD/JPY

    135.1380
    +0.1680 (+0.1245%)
     
  • BTC-USD

    23,194.01
    +267.76 (+1.17%)
     
  • CMC Crypto 200

    539.35
    +4.12 (+0.77%)
     
  • FTSE 100

    7,439.74
    -8.32 (-0.11%)
     
  • Nikkei 225

    28,190.11
    +14.24 (+0.05%)
     

Electric vehicle shift ‘puts 22,000 jobs at risk’

·3 min read
car manufacturing auto industry - Chris Ratcliffe /Bloomberg
car manufacturing auto industry - Chris Ratcliffe /Bloomberg

More than 22,000 British jobs linked to petrol and diesel car manufacturing are at risk as Britain’s auto industry transitions to electric.

The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) warned in a  report that even a successful transition to electric will see thousands fewer jobs available and force many people to retrain.

Manufacturers of combustion engines and other parts not found in electric vehicles currently account for £11bn of sales in the UK and represent about 15pc of the domestic automotive industry, according to SMMT.

In the UK, 22,000 jobs are directly linked to international combustion engine cars. But a transition to electric will only create an estimated 10,000 jobs,  the SMMT warned.

The SMMT says this is a “conservative estimate”, but it raises the spectre of thousands of job losses in the sector.

Electric cars are considerably less complicated to engineer than combustion-driven cars, with fewer parts to design and fewer people needed to make them.

Not all skills are transferable and many of those able to make a shift will be forced to retrain.

Production line workers and those working in areas such as safety, entertainment, or interiors are likely to be unaffected by the transition to electric.

However, many of the engines in British-made vehicles are made in UK factories such as Bentley’s plant in Crewe, which makes its 12 cylinder models.

In addition, combustion engines are made in the UK for export. Ford employs 1,830 people at its Dagenham plant making diesel engines used in its Puma, Focus, Kuga, Transit Courier, Transit Connect and Galaxy models.

SMMT said the auto industry and its supply chain must “make a major transition to remain viable”.

The report suggested that 501,000 jobs will be lost Europe-wide as a result of the shift to electric, with only 226,000 created in new roles such as battery production, citing figures gathered by accountants PwC.

SMMT also warned that the UK’s auto industry faces £90m in extra spending from higher energy costs.

The UK car industry already spends £50m more than its EU-based competitors on power, the industry says.

Energy costs will influence where big manufacturers decide to invest in new factories and the massive battery plants the UK will need to keep its industry going.

Mike Hawes, SMMT chief executive, said: “Help with energy costs now will help keep us competitive and be a windfall for the sector, stimulating investment in innovation, R&D, training – all reinvested in the UK economy. With the right backing this sector can drive the transition to net zero, supporting jobs and growth across the UK and exports across the globe.”

The UK car industry is not classed as an “energy-intensive” industry like steel, glass making, and the chemical industry. If it were, which the SMMT has lobbied for, it would receive a discount on electricity prices. Battery manufacturing has been included in the Government’s definition.