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Vauxhall’s Ellesmere Port production site is set to transform into an electric van factory for parent group Stellantis, the firm has confirmed.

Following Nissan’s announcement last week of a new EV hub at its Sunderland plant, Stellantis has now renewed its support for its plant in Ellesmere Port, Cheshire. There was uncertainty about the future of the site – which currently produces the Vauxhall Astra – but now it has been confirmed that from 2022 it will begin producing electric vans instead.

It will be the first plant from Stellantis – the newly-formed company between the PSA Group and FCA – that will produce solely battery-electric models, too, with production of Vauxhall, Opel, Peugeot and Citroen EVs to take place there.

The announcement comes as Stellantis confirms a £100m investment at the plant, supported by the UK government.

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 mind set 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.”

The plant will produce more compact electric vans for the firm, as well as the passenger equivalent model, including the Vauxhall Combo-e, Peugeot e-Rifter and Citroen e-Berlingo. All versions use a 134bhp electric motor and 50kWh battery, which enables a range of around 170 miles. They’re also equipped with 100kW rapid charging capability, meaning an 80 per cent charge can take just 30 minutes.

Ellesmere Port has produced Vauxhalls since 1964, including the Viva and Chevette and all seven generations of the Astra since. In total, more than 5.2 million cars have been produced at the plant. It’s not yet clear whether the new Astra will be manufactured at the site.

Ted Welford

By

July 7, 2021