Stellantis has reopened its Ellesmere Port site as the UK’s first manufacturing plant dedicated solely to battery electric vehicles (BEVs), following a £100m investment.
The regenerated Cheshire plant – the first BEV-only plant globally for the Stellantis group – will produce the Vauxhall/Opel Combo Electric, Peugeot e-Partner, Citroën ë-Berlingo and Fiat E-Doblò.
These will be joined in 2024 by the Vauxhall Combo Life Electric, Peugeot e-Rifter and Citroën ë-Berlingo MPVs.
The transformed site includes a new battery assembly shop, an upgraded general assembly and relocated bodyshop.
Total site area is down by around 60% and a new test track has also been built.
In addition a new parts distribution warehouse is in construction and due to become fully operational in early 2024.
Sustainability improvements include the arrival of a new, more energy-efficient ‘4-wet’ paint application process, while a localised combined heat and power plant is also being installed to generate electricity onsite to cut emissions.
In the longer term, the plant is expected to run on solar and wind power as well as connect to the HyNet North West Hydrogen Pipeline.
Diane Miller, Plant Director, Ellesmere Port, said, “The start of electric vehicle production at Ellesmere Port signals a bright future for the plant, ensuring it will continue to manufacture vehicles for many years to come.
“With Vauxhall’s long history of UK manufacturing, it’s especially fitting that the first electric model to roll off Ellesmere Port’s production line is a Combo Electric.
“Stellantis is committed to working with the Government to ensure the UK automotive industry remains competitive for producing electric vehicles for the long-term.”