Fears have been expressed for the future of British car manufacturing, and development of the EV sector, after the company behind plans for a massive EV battery plant went into administration.

Experts have warned that the UK will need several EV battery-making plants in operation by 2030 when the ban on new internal combustion engine cars and vans is due to start.

There is currently only one, alongside the Nissan plant in Sunderland.

BritishVolt had plans to build a £3.8bn gigafactory at a site in Blyth in Northumberland.

It had offers of £100m of government funding but failed to achieve necessary targets to trigger it, and after it was unable to attract sufficient investment administrators were appointed on Tuesday. The majority of its 232 staff were made redundant with immediate effect.

Dan Hurd, joint administrator and partner at EY Parthenon, said they would now explore options for a sale of the business and assets.

Hours after the administration was announced the House of Commons’ Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy Committee launched an inquiry into the supply of batteries for EV manufacture in the UK, and the viability of battery manufacturing for EVs in the UK.

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.”

Steve Bush, national officer for the automotive sector at the Unite union, said: “This is a grim day for the North East and for the transition to the electrification of the nation’s automotive sector.

“The complete lack of a competent industrial strategy by the government to protect jobs in the UK automotive sector is becoming potentially more catastrophic by the day.

“It is extraordinary that despite the UK automotive sector being required to move to the production of electric vehicles, there are still no UK stand-alone factories making the batteries that are required. The demise of BritishVolt means there are not even any in the pipeline.

“The government’s strategy seems to be to cross their fingers and hope that everything will be ok. The workers in the automotive sector are frankly enraged at this dreadful and total abdication of leadership.”