Cookies on Zenoot

This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. More info

3 minute read - 19th February 2024

Ford opens new £24m Propulsion Development Laboratory

Following a £24m investment, Ford has opened a new Propulsion Development Laboratory at its UK headquarters in Essex, underpinning the site’s key role in delivering Ford’s European electric vehicle plans.

Ford is launching nine new electric vans and cars by 2025, including five van-based vehicles. The Ford Transit has been the UK’s top-selling van for 58 consecutive years – every year since its 1965 launch.

The new Propulsion Development Laboratory on its Dunton Campus comprises eight vehicle-size rooms capable of testing electric power units and propulsion systems – maximising development time, including round-the-clock component reliability sign off. The new laboratory’s test rooms are configured to test EV, hybrid and combustion powertrains, flexing between technologies in anticipation of market changes and customer requirements.

Ford has opened a new £24m Propulsion Development Laboratory at its UK headquarters in Essex, the latest in a series of investments at its Dunton facility / Picture: Ford of Britain

The test facility was inaugurated by transport minister Anthony Browne MP who saw EV powertrain components intensively tested with speeds and loads to accelerate levels of wear which customers would incur only after years of vehicle use.

In the last two years, Ford has invested £47m in the adjacent Advanced Propulsion Laboratory (APL) and separate E:PRiME (Electrified Powertrain in Manufacturing Engineering) prototype build facility, also toured by the minister. He met some of the apprentices based at Ford Dunton, who are among over 300 apprentices employed by Ford and its Trust Ford dealers in Britain, and was shown their Transit Connect development vehicle project.

Never miss the latest manufacturing news by signing up to our newsletter here

APL specialises in minimising noise and vibration from EV powertrains as well as developing hybrid powertrains for the latest emissions regulations, while E:PRiME develops advanced manufacturing processes, producing prototype EV components ahead of volume production. Last year, the E:PRiME team completed 150 electric power units, involving employees from Ford Halewood Plant on Merseyside where over 400,000 of the power units will be assembled annually from later this year.

Transport minister Anthony Browne MP with Lisa Brankin, chair and managing director of Ford Britain and Ireland at the new £24m laboratory / Picture: Ford of Britain

Lisa Brankin, chair and managing director of Ford Britain and Ireland, said: “I’m delighted that the transport minister Anthony Browne joined us today to officially open our new Propulsion Development Laboratory. 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.”

Anthony Browne MP, transport minister, added: “It was fantastic to visit Ford and test drive their new BlueCruise technology as well as open its state-of-the-art modular test lab, which are essential for scaling up the UK’s electric vehicle production. It’s great to see a commitment to UK EV development following our ZEV mandate becoming law earlier this year, meaning we have a clear pathway for reducing car and van emissions.”

The Dunton-based Ford Pro division leads on commercial vehicle sales and supporting software, charging, service and finance customer needs.

This content is copyright of Zenoot Ltd and its originator. You can use extracts, share or link to this page and you may draw the attention of others to content posted on our site. Bulk copying of text is not permitted. You can view our Terms of Use here.