HALEWOOD, England, Dec 1 (Reuters) – Ford Motor Co ( FN ) will invest an additional 149 million pounds ($180 million) to boost production of electric vehicle (EV) powertrains by 70% at its engine plant in northern England. The US automaker is accelerating the adoption of electric power.
Electric drive production capacity at the Halewood plant will increase from 250,000 units to 420,000 units a year starting in 2024, the Detroit-based automaker said Thursday.
The move brings Ford’s total investment in converting the internal combustion engine plant to EV parts to £380m.
“This is a very important and important part of our transformation,” said Tim Slatter, head of British Ford. “This is a really big deal for Ford’s business in Europe.”
An EV powertrain consisting of an electric motor and a gearbox replaces the engine and gearbox of a fossil fuel vehicle.
Ford has committed to selling only fully electric cars in Europe by 2030 and only electric commercial vans by 2035. With this, he is ahead of the European Union’s plans to ban the sale of new cars running on fossil fuels by 2035.
Slatter said Ford plans to launch nine all-electric models in Europe by 2024, with Halewood supplying powertrains to assembly plants in Romania and Turkey for five large-scale models, including an electric version of the popular Puma SUV.
Ford said Halewood is expected to supply 70% of the 600,000 electric cars the company plans to sell in Europe each year by 2026.
Ford’s latest investment includes £125m in the factory itself and £24m in developing and testing new EV parts for production at Halewood.
Ford said the investment will protect more than 500 jobs.
The UK government contributed to the initial EV powertrain investment at Halewood, which Ford announced last year.
($1 = £0.8326)
Reporting by Nick Carey Editing by Edward Tobin and David Goodman
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