Ford will invest more than initially announced in its Halewood Plant, on Merseyside in the UK, to significantly increase the planned EV drive unit production.
In October 2021, the company signed up for a £230 million ($316 million at the time) investment to produce around 250,000 electric motors and single-speed transmissions for electric vehicles. This month, Ford announced an additional £150 million ($184 million) to achieve an output of 420,000 EV drive units. That's a 70% increase in output, while the combined amount will be around £380 million ($466 million).
The recent move is highly related to Ford's electrification strategy in Europe. Let's recall that the company will offer nine all-electric models within two years and sell BEVs at a rate of 600,000 annually by 2026. 70% of drive units used in those electric vehicles will come from Halewood, which currently builds transmissions for a number of Ford passenger and commercial vehicles.
By 2030, Ford would like to sell in Europe only all-electric cars (the same will happen with vans by 2035).
The latest investment will be divided into two parts:
- £125 million for the Halewood Plant
- £24 million for a new E:PRiME (Electrified Powertrain in Manufacturing Engineering) development centre in Dunton, Essex
E:PRiME is already engaged in building prototypes of the electric power unit and training Halewood employees in its machining and assembly, assisted by the Advanced Propulsion Centre.
Tim Slatter, chairman of Ford UK, said:
“This is an all-important next step for Ford towards having nine EVs on sale within two years. 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.”
Gallery: Ford E:PRiME Development Centre (UK)
Ford specifically mentioned that Halewood will supply drive units for Ford E-Transit Custom, E-Tourneo Custom, Transit Courier, Tourneo Courier and Puma as well as "further future products."
As we understand, those future products might be the MEB-based medium-size crossover and sporty crossover. The Ford Mustang Mach-E is produced in Mexico and imported to Europe.
Ford in Europe: Nine All-Electric vehicles by 2024