JCB boss warns relying on electric cars would leave Britain at the mercy of Beijing

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The JCB boss revealed that diggers were ordering a halt at the height of the pandemic, forcing the billionaire to fire thousands of workers and exploit the government’s emergency loan program.Lord Bamford has expressed his shock after JCB production ceases when the pandemic struck. He said: ” [In early March], my company had £ 1.5 billion in stock orders as of March 20, open orders virtually zero. It was so dramatic. This kind of thing has never happened in the history of our business before.

The company also appealed to the Treasury’s Covid business finance facility for a £ 600million loan.

Comments from the president of JCB came as he supported calls from his son Jo for more government support in developing hydrogen-powered vehicles instead of those powered by electric batteries.

With over 70pc of the world’s batteries made in China, Lord Bamford warned against Whitehall’s “group thinking” that batteries are the solution to achieving the government’s net zero carbon goals.

In response to the question of whether the use of batteries leaves Britain at the mercy of Beijing, he said: “Yes it does. It really is. I don’t know how wise it is. ”

Meanwhile, the billionaire industrialist supported plans by a British sovereign wealth fund to invest in companies hit by the crisis.

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