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Ford invests £380m in Halewood to make EV drivetrains

01 December, 2022

Ford has announced that is investing a further £125m to produce drivetrains for electric vehicles at its Halewood plant on Merseyside. The new investment takes the total being spent to transform Halewood to an EV component plant to almost £380m and will boost its drivetrain production capacity from 250,000 to 420,000 a year. It also means that 70% of the 600,000 EVs that Ford hopes to sell in Europe annually by 2026, will be powered by the Halewood-produced technologies.

Ford is also investing £24m in its E:Prime (Electrified Powertrain in Manufacturing Engineering) centre in Dunton, Essex, where it is developing electric drivetrains and training Halewood employees to produce the power systems, comprising motors and gearboxes.

“This is an all-important next step for Ford towards having nine EVs on sale within two years,” says Ford UK chairman, Tim Slatter. “Our UK workforce is playing a major role in Ford’s all-electric future, demonstrated by Halewood’s pivot to a new zero-emission powertrain, and E:Prime’s innovation at Dunton in finalising the production processes.”

Ford’s is also accelerating its global plans to produce two million EVs annually by 2026.

Ford announced last year that Halewood, which currently produces transmissions for internal combustion vehicles, would be converted to produce 250,000 EV drivetrains a year from 2024. This initial investment of £230m was backed by the UK government’s Automotive Transformation Fund, which aims to electrify Britain’s automotive supply chain and protect its competitiveness in the global market.

Halewood’s upgrade marked Ford’s first in-house investment in all-electric vehicle component manufacturing in Europe. Ford considers the plant’s transition to electric component production as key to building a profitable business in Europe centred on the electrification of its vehicle portfolio to produce only zero-emission cars and vans by 2035.

Ford’s Halewood plant is being converted to produce electric vehicle drivetrains

The latest investment – which includes support from the government’s UK Export Finance, via its Export Development Guarantee – will boost Halewood's production capacity by 70% and help to safeguard 500 jobs at the site and upskill them for EV component assembly.

“We have consistently backed Ford as it makes its critical transition towards electrification,” says international trade secretary, Kemi Badenoch. “Boosting electric car production is key to our strategy to combat climate change and today’s news demonstrates how our manufacturing industry, our exports and our economy will benefit from this transition.”

Kieran Cahill, Ford’s vice-president of European Industrial Operations, adds: “Our vision in Europe is to build a thriving business, by extending leadership in commercial vehicles and through the electrification of our car range. Halewood is playing a critical part as our first in-house investment in EV component manufacturing in Europe.”

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