Ford invests in Valencia hybrid powertrain plant
Ford is investing in the electrification of its Spanish site in Valencia. The engine plant there will build hybrid powertrains for the Kuga PHEV and the full hybrid variants of the Kuga, S-Max and Galaxy series from the end of 2022. An additional €5.2 million will be invested in expanding the battery assembly capacity in Valencia.
Specifically, the hybrid is the 2.5-litre Duratec petrol engine, which is combined with a 27 kW electric motor to form the hybrid drive. The system output is 147 kW. Production of the drive is scheduled to start in Valencia at the end of 2022, according to Ford.
This engine is already being installed in the Kuga Plug-in Hybrid (PHEV) and the full hybrid variants of the Kuga, S-Max and Galaxy series at the Valencia vehicle plant. However, the engine is currently manufactured at Ford’s Chihuahua plant in Mexico. Since the share of these models is expected to increase in the future, it is worthwhile to assemble them in Europe. The 2.0 and 2.3 litre EcoBoost petrol engines will continue to be built in Valencia.
For the production of the hybrid models, Ford had announced in January 2020 the investment of 42 million euros to re-equip the assembly lines. At that time, two assembly lines for the lithium-ion batteries of the PHEV and HEV models were also announced; these went into operation in September 2020.
Ford now announces that the battery assembly line will be expanded at a cost of 5.2 million euros. The additional battery capacity is needed to meet the ever-increasing demand for electrified Ford vehicles, the manufacturer said.
“Today is another step on Ford’s electrification journey, providing a bridge to an all-electric passenger vehicle future, and demonstrating our continuing commitment to our manufacturing operations in Valencia where we have invested around $3 billion since 2011,” said Kieran Cahill, Vice President Manufacturing, Ford of Europe.
Another consequence of increasing electrification for the vehicle plant is that production of the mid-size Mondeo model will cease in a year’s time, at the end of March 2022. “As a consequence of changing buying behaviour”, the Mondeo, which is in the C-/D segment, will be phased out, Ford wrote. Ford is thus alluding to the high SUV/crossover ratio of 39 per cent of sales in Europe. The S-Max and Galaxy models, which have recently become available as full hybrid versions, will continue to be built in Valencia.
In February, Ford had announced that it would invest at least 22 billion US dollars globally in electrification by 2025; twice as much as previously planned. From 2023, the first electric model produced in Europe will be built in Cologne, but will be based on Volkswagen’s MEB. “These days”, moreover, deliveries of the Mustang Mach-E are to begin in Europe. As early as 2030, Ford wants to sell only pure electric cars in Europe.
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