Ford expands EV testing facilities in the UK with £24 million investment

  • Ford invests £24 million in Dunton’s Propulsion Development Lab, expanding its UK HQ for EV testing.
  • Minister Browne MP inaugurates lab, highlighting its role in testing E-Transit Courier and other EV programs.
  • Ford’s £70 million investment over two years at Dunton underscores a commitment to advancing European electric vehicle technology.

£24 million investment reinforces commitment to advancing EV testing technology at Dunton headquarters

Ford has expanded its electric vehicle test laboratories at its UK headquarters in Dunton, Essex. The latest addition, the £24 million Propulsion Development Laboratory, was inaugurated by UK Transport Minister Anthony Browne MP. This move solidifies Dunton’s crucial role in delivering Ford’s European electric vehicle plans.

The facility has already commenced testing components for the E-Transit Courier, E-Transit Custom, and Ford Puma Gen-E programs. Minister Browne experienced a hands-free, feet-free drive of the Ford Mustang Mach-E with BlueCruise, showcasing the cutting-edge technology in action.

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Over the past two years, Ford has invested a total of £70 million in three facilities at Dunton. This includes the adjacent Advanced Propulsion Laboratory (APL) and E:PRiME prototype build facility. APL specialises in minimising noise and vibration from EV powertrains and developing hybrid powertrains to meet the latest emissions regulations. E:PRiME focuses on advanced manufacturing processes, producing prototype EV components ahead of volume production.

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.”

The newest Propulsion Development Laboratory boasts eight vehicle-size rooms for testing electric power units and propulsion systems, enabling round-the-clock component reliability sign-off. The test rooms trial EV, hybrid, and combustion powertrains, showcasing Ford’s flexibility in adapting to market changes and customer requirements.

Transport Minister Anthony Browne MP, commented:  

“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.”

Ford’s ambitious plan includes launching nine new EV vans and cars by 2025, with a particular focus on vans. The Dunton-based Ford Pro division is also at the forefront of providing essential supporting services like software, charging infrastructure, service, and finance. All in all, Ford is in the process of an EV overhaul. As the world transitions to emobility, these investments will pay dividends in the very near future.

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