Ford opens electric drive testing lab in the UK

Ford has opened a new EV powertrain test laboratory at its UK headquarters in Essex. The first tests at the new Propulsion Development Laboratory involved components for the E-Transit Courier, E-Transit Custom and Ford Puma Gen-E.

Image: Ford

Ford invested 24 million pounds in the new laboratory. It has eight vehicle-sized rooms in which, among other things, the carmaker can test electric drives. Ford specifies that these test rooms are configured “to test EV, hybrid and combustion powertrains, flexing between technologies in anticipation of market changes and customer requirements.”

Over the past two years, Ford also invested 47 million pounds in the neighbouring Advanced Propulsion Laboratory (APL) and the EV:PRiME (Electrified Powertrain in Manufacturing Engineering) prototyping facility. The former specialises in minimising noise and vibration from EV powertrains and developing hybrid powertrains for the latest emissions regulations. E:PRIME concentrates on the production of prototype EV components ahead of volume production.

“This is the third new test facility opened on our Dunton Campus in two years, underpinning the site’s key role in delivering Ford’s electric vehicle plan in Europe,” says Lisa Brankin, chair and managing director of Ford Britain and Ireland.

The US company is also investing 380 million pounds in the British transmission plant in Halewood to produce electric vehicle components. The goal is to scale up production to 420,000 units per year and to equip 70 per cent of Ford electric vehicles for sale in Europe by 2026. Ford says it will launch nine new electric vans and cars by 2025, “including five van-based vehicles.”


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