Ford accelerates production of electric cars with support from the UK government | Rare Techy
- The government-backed loan will facilitate Ford’s investment in Essex and Merseyside, supporting the creation of thousands of local jobs.
- The loan will help Ford expand its range of electric vehicles from the current two models to nine.
- The investments are part of the government’s plans to put the UK at the forefront of electric car development in Europe.
Ford has redoubled its commitment to the UK as a hub for its European electric vehicle powertrain production, thanks to a £600m UK export finance boost that will support high-skilled manufacturing jobs.
The investment is part of the government’s plans to put the UK at the forefront of electric car development in Europe as the country moves to net zero.
Ford has received support from UKEF through the EDG (Export Development Guarantee) scheme, which will turbocharge Ford’s transition to electrification, expand manufacturing and export capacity and support continued investment in the UK.
Citibank Europe PLC was the sole coordinator and agent for the loan to Ford. There were six participating lenders, all of whom have an equal stake in the facility.
International Trade Secretary Kemi Badenoch said:
Our support for Ford is great news for jobs in Essex and Merseyside and across British manufacturing. Ford is a major employer in the UK and the highly skilled jobs it provides help communities thrive.
We have consistently supported Ford in its critical transition to electrification. Increasing production of electric cars is key to our strategy to combat climate change and today’s news shows how our manufacturing industry, exports and economy will benefit from this transition.
This announcement builds on previous government support for Ford’s EV expansion:
July 2020: £625m UKEF EDG facility (UKEF guarantee for £500m). It helped fund Ford’s global vehicle research and development headquarters in Dunton, Essex, providing thousands of jobs and supporting the development of electric vehicle technologies.
October 2021: A £230m investment, supported by BEIS’s Automotive Transformation Fund (ATF), aims to electrify Britain’s automotive supply chain and protect our country’s competitiveness in the global market. This investment funded the first stage of the Merseyside powertrain production line.
This £750m UKEF EDG (UKEF Guarantee £600m) announced today is the second phase of Ford’s electric vehicle plans. The investment significantly expands the capacity of the powertrain production line. This brings Ford’s total UKEF-backed funding to almost £1.4bn. (£1.1 billion guaranteed by UKEF)
Ford is one of the UK’s biggest exporters. Engines and transmissions are transported from factories in Dagenham and Halewood to twelve countries on five continents.
Plans in Halewood, Merseyside
The UKEF-backed loan will support an initial £125m investment to fund the second phase of the Electric Vehicle Powertrain Manufacturing Center in Halewood, Merseyside, making the North West a center of excellence for electric vehicle manufacturing in Europe.
The electric powertrain capacity at the Halewood plant is expected to grow from 250,000 units to 420,000 units per year as a result of the UKEF grant. This is an increase of almost 70%. This will provide a significant boost to UK manufacturing capacity, its electric vehicle supply chain and UK exports in general.
Ford estimates the investment will help secure 500 jobs in Halewood.
Plans in Dunton, Essex
The loan will also help protect Ford’s ability to provide engineering services in Dunton, Essex. A key feature of the UKEF EDG product is that it provides Ford with the liquidity they need across the business. That liquidity is critical to Dunton and allows Ford’s flagship research and development unit to continue doing what it does best: developing the small commercial vehicle business, designing new powertrains and vehicles, testing new assembly lines for electrified components, and training and developing engineers and apprentices. for the transition from internal combustion engines to electric vehicles with batteries.
Ford estimates the investment will secure thousands of jobs in Dunton.
Ford UK chairman Tim Slatter said:
“This is a critical next step for Ford to have nine EVs on sale within four years. Our UK workforce has a big role to play in Ford’s all-electric future, as demonstrated by Halewood’s pivot to a new zero-emissions powertrain and Dunton E:PriME’s innovation in completing manufacturing processes.
Notes to editors
The total value of Ford’s contract is £750 million. UKEF guarantees 80% of the facility (£600m).
Halewood’s first phase was made possible with support from BEIS’s Automotive Transformation Fund, which supports UK companies in industrializing the electric vehicle supply chain. This includes opening up private investment in gigafactories, battery material supply chains, motors, power electronics and fuel cell systems. It is supplied by the Advanced Propulsion Centre, Coventry.
UK Export Finance is the UK’s export credit agency and government agency, working alongside the Department for International Trade as an integral part of its strategy and operations.
Founded in 1919, its mission is to promote prosperity by ensuring that the UK’s vital exports are not disrupted by lack of finance or insurance, doing so sustainably and at no cost to the taxpayer.