The news comes hot on the heels of the firm’s parent company, Indian manufacturing giant Tata, confirming the loss of 900 jobs at its steel plants and distribution centres across the UK.

Tata Motors established its European Technical Centre at the University of Warwick in 2005 with the brief to develop a battery-powered electric mini-truck.

The result was the Tata Ace EV, which has a 30 mile range, a 500kg payload and a two-seat cab. It was produced as a box van, tipper and dropside.