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Ellesmere Port will support sustainable mobility through the production of an all-electric vehicle, starting in 2022

LEP Ellesmere Port 06/07/2021

£100m investment in Vauxhall’s Ellesmere Port plant

  • Ellesmere Port to become Stellantis’s first manufacturing site dedicated to battery electric LCV and passenger car models for Vauxhall, Opel, Peugeot and Citroën

  • Industrial performance improvements as a result of strong  cooperation between the company, the Unite Union and, most importantly, the workforce

  • Stellantis £100 million investment supported by the UK government to secure an all-electric future for the plant 

  • Ambition for Ellesmere Port plant to be carbon neutral by mid-decade

  • Ellesmere Port to support Stellantis Europe’s leading LCV position

  • Vauxhall continuing its tradition of manufacturing vehicles in the UK, which started in 1903

Stellantis announces today a £100 million investment in Vauxhall’s Ellesmere Port manufacturing plant to transform the site for a new era in electric vehicle manufacturing.  Ellesmere Port will become the first Stellantis plant to produce a solely battery-electric model, in both commercial and passenger versions, by the end of next year, for Vauxhall, Opel, Peugeot and Citroën brands and for both domestic and export markets. This dedication to battery electric vehicles will go towards achieving the UK Government’s decision to stop sales of pure petrol and diesel engined vehicles from 2030.

Stellantis investment in Ellesmere Port will leverage the performance improvement actions that have been made possible thanks to a co-building process between the company, the Unite Union and based on the workforce’s drive to transform their plant. 

Stellantis strong willingness to ensure a sustainable future for Ellesmere Port has been consistently supported by the UK Government, the Cheshire West and Chester Council, Cheshire and Warrington Local Enterprise partnership and Chester College.

Carlos Tavares, Chief Executive Officer at Stellantis, said: “Performance is always the trigger for sustainability and this £100 million investment demonstrates our commitment to the UK and to Ellesmere Port. I particularly want to thank our highly skilled, dedicated workforce for their patience and contribution; we never let them down.  Equally, I want to thank our partners the Unite Union for their open mindset and strong cooperation and, of course, the UK Government for their continued support. Producing battery electric vehicles here will support clean, safe and affordable mobility for the citizens. Since 1903 Vauxhall has manufactured vehicles in Britain and we will continue to do so.”

UK Government, Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, Kwasi Kwarteng, said: “Ellesmere Port’s proud tradition in auto manufacturing will continue for many years to come thanks to today’s investment. Stellantis’ decision to double down on their commitment to this site is a clear vote of confidence in the UK as one of the best locations globally for competitive, high-quality automotive production.
Today’s decision will not only power Ellesmere Port into a clean future, but will secure thousands of jobs across the region in the supply chain. In this global race to secure electric vehicle production, we are proud to support Britain’s auto sector in this crucial transition as we work to build back better.”

Councillor Louise Gittins, Leader of Cheshire West and Chester Council said: “We are delighted at the decision reached by Stellantis to invest in the future of low carbon vehicles at its plant here in Ellesmere Port.

“After a period of uncertainty about the future of the site, this is welcome news, not just for Ellesmere Port, but for the entire region. 

“Today’s announcement comes as a result of detailed discussions behind the scenes by the company, government officials, the Council and its local partners including Cheshire College South and West. The fact that Stellantis has committed to continue to invest in Ellesmere Port and safeguard hundreds of jobs comes at a time when our borough really needs it.

“We are particularly excited that the parent company is committing to producing electric vehicles at the plant, which will secure future jobs in the region. This forms part of Ellesmere Port’s critical transition as an international centre of innovation and manufacturing within the low carbon economy.

“It is clear that our borough has an exciting future ahead of it. We are beginning to lead the way when it comes to renewable energy and green technology.” 

Clare Hayward, MBE, Chair of the Cheshire and Warrington Local Enterprise Partnership, said: “Vauxhall Ellesmere Port has been a mainstay of our region’s industrial landscape since 1962 and its skilled and flexible workforce has proved time and again to be among the best in the automotive sector. 

“We are therefore delighted to welcome this news, which safeguards the long-term future of the plant. Investing in the industries of the future including EV technology  is essential to Cheshire and Warrington’s future as we establish ourselves as a world leader in the low carbon economy Stellantis’ investment is therefore both timely and prescient and will have a catalytic impact across our region. 

“We are particularly pleased that we have been able to help develop a package of energy investments in the plant that will help the plant achieve net zero carbon by 2030.“

The plant at Ellesmere Port will celebrate its 60th anniversary next year, having been built in 1962, and produced its first car, the Vauxhall Viva, in 1964.  Since that time, it has produced subsequent generations of the Vauxhall Viva, the Vauxhall Chevette and then each generation of the Vauxhall and Opel Astra.  In total, since 1964, it has built over 5.2 million vehicles.  

This new era of manufacturing will see a transformation of the Ellesmere Port plant “fit for the future”, with a new body shop, upgraded general assembly, a compression of the site area and the creation of an on-site battery pack assembly.  In addition, there will be further support to enable a pathway to carbon neutrality for the plant by the middle of this decade.  The plant aims to be 100% self-sufficient for electricity and work will commence imminently on potential wind and solar farms.  

Stellantis has also announced the intention to consult on further investment into the Ellesmere Port site with the creation of a new UK parts distribution centre.

From later next year, Ellesmere Port will build the following all-electric vehicles:

 Electric LCV  Electric Passenger Car
 Vauxhall Combo-e  Vauxhall Combo-e Life
 Opel Combo-e  Opel Combo-e Life
 Peugeot e-Partner  Peugeot e-Rifter
 Citroën e-Berlingo  Citroën e-Berlingo

These light commercial vehicles, and their passenger car variants, are all powered by a 100kW (136hp) motor with a 50kWh lithium-ion battery.  They are able to be charged at up to 100kW and take just 30 minutes to charge from 0% to 80%.  Under WLTP conditions, they are capable of up to 174 miles of range. 
Stellantis is the LCV market leader in Europe and, in the UK, Vauxhall leads sales in the fast growing all-electric LCV segment.

Vauxhall, Opel, Peugeot and Citroën brands have already committed to each offering all-electric versions of their entire respective van model ranges before the end of 2021.  Fiat Professional is also committed to offering electrified and alternatively fuelled versions across its van range.

With rising LCV usage in urban areas, partly due to the growth in demand for online delivery services, these zero-emissions-in-use vans will make a significant contribution to reducing emissions in towns and cities across the country.

The passenger car version will enable families to enjoy a “zero emission” active life with up to 7 seats, benefitting from a modern high-tech interior, with great levels of comfort and adaptability and interior space, premium comfort and smart safety features.