Ford has announced a £230m investment into its Halewood factory on Merseyside to make it ready to produce electric car components.

The plant, which currently manufactures gearboxes for many of the brand’s cars and vans is set to switch to produce ‘electric power units’ – the components that replace the engine and transmission in a petrol and diesel car. Ford says Halewood will be ready to produce the components from mid-2024, with the firm expecting 250,000 units to be produced each year.

On top of Ford’s £230m investment, the brand is securing funds from the UK government as part of its Automotive Transformation Fund, which will safeguard existing jobs, while also leading to the possibility of further roles being created in the future.

It will make Halewood the brand’s first electric vehicle component production site in Europe, as part of the brand’s bold claims to make its full car range electric-only by 2030. At the same time, Ford also hopes two-third of its commercial vehicles will be either fully electric or a plug-in hybrid.

Stuart Rowley, president, Ford of Europe, said: “This is an important step, marking Ford’s first in-house investment in all-electric vehicle component manufacturing in Europe.

“We also want to thank the U.K. Government for its support for this important investment at Halewood which reconfirms Ford’s continuing commitment to the U.K. and our position as a leading investor in this country’s auto industry and technological base.”

Ford is the latest marque to announce investment into the UK automotive industry, following recent news that Nissan will build a new battery factory and electric crossover at its Sunderland base.