Workers at Nissan plantWorkers at Nissan plant


Automotive industry facing 50 per increase in energy bills, SMMT warns

  • UK automotive industry facing £90m uplift in energy bills, SMMT warns
  • Average bills have risen by more than 50 per cent in the last 12 months
  • UK is most expensive in Europe and 59 per cent higher than average EU price

Time 10:48 am, June 28, 2022

Firms in the automotive industry are facing a £90m surge in the cost of their energy bills this year, the SMMT has warned.

The trade body says that bills have soared at such an alarming rate, the rise is equivalent to more than 2,500 jobs.

Analysis by the SMMT found that the UK’s automotive industry had seen the biggest rise in prices (50.1 per cent) in Europe in the last year.

Average bills are currently 59 per cent higher in the UK than they are in EU.

It means that UK manufacturers could have saved almost £50m on energy costs in the last year if they were buying in the EU.

The SMMT is now calling for action to be taken to help automotive firms, amidst fears jobs could soon be lost due to spiralling costs.

Mike Hawes, SMMT chief executive, said, ‘From Covid impacts to component shortages, supply chain disruption to trade uncertainty, and regulatory change to rising inflation, the challenges facing this sector are immense.

‘Nevertheless, addressing the UK’s high energy costs is the industry’s number one ask.

‘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.’

Speaking at the SMMT’s annual summit, Hawes also welcomed the news that electric vehicle battery manufacturers are benefitting from support as energy intensive businesses.

However, he said manufacturers are not benefitting from a cap on prices, and ‘we need energy costs to be competitive for all the automotive industry’.

Despite current high costs, the CEO insisted that the motoring industry was well-placed going forwards.

Get more from Car Dealer

  • Premium stories
  • Used car data
  • Magazine early access

He added: ‘Go back to the ’70s, typified by poor management, poor labour relations, hence poor quality. That’s not the situation now.

‘We have a global reputation for engineering excellence, innovation, admired and desirable brands from across the country.

‘We have a strong foundation. We’re still a powerhouse of international trade, with great wealth, contributing billions to the economy and supporting thousands of livelihoods in every corner of the country.’

Jack Williams's avatar

Jack joined the Car Dealer team in 2021 as a staff writer. He previously worked as a national newspaper journalist for BNPS Press Agency. He has provided news and motoring stories for a number of national publications including The Sun, The Times and The Daily Mirror.

More stories...

Server 190