Stellantis has announced a £100m investment in Vauxhall’s Ellesmere Port manufacturing plant to transform the site for 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.
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 late 2022, Ellesmere Port will build the following all-electric LCVs and their passenger car variants: Vauxhall Combo-e; Opel Combo-e; Peugeot e-Partner and the Citroën e-Berlingo.
These light commercial vehicles 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 reportedly 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 no doubt make a significant contribution to reducing emissions in towns and cities across the country.