Ford Motor Co has announced that it intends to invest a further £149 million (approximately US$180 million) in an effort to boost the output of electric vehicle power units by 70% at its engine factory in Halewood, Merseyside, UK. The investment includes £125 million to the plant itself, with £24 million to go towards the developing and testing of new EV parts for production.
Bringing Ford’s investment in the facility’s electrification to £380 million, this addition is said to illustrate the carmaker’s push to go electric, as the EV drive unit production capacity at the Halewood plant is expected to increase from 250,000 to 420,000 units a year. EV power units, which replace the engine and transmission of vehicles powered by fossil fuels, consists of an electric motor and gearbox.
“This is a very significant and important part of scaling up for our transformation,” stated Tim Slatter, head of Ford in Britain. “This is a really big deal for Ford’s business in Europe.”
Ford has committed to selling only fully electric cars in Europe by 2030 and only electric commercial vans by 2035. This plan puts it ahead of the European Union’s plans to effectively ban the sale of new fossil-fuel passenger cars by 2035.
Slatter has stated that Ford plans to have nine fully electric models on sale in Europe by 2024, with Halewood supplying power units to assembly plants in Romania and Turkey for five high-volume models, including an electric version of the Puma SUV. Ford has stated that Halewood to expected to supply 70% of the 600,000 EVs the company aims to sell in Europe annually by 2026.
500 jobs are expected to be safeguarded by the investment.