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Ford opens EV test lab at Dunton HQ

22 February 2024 #TNB News #Van

Ford has opened a £24m Propulsion Development Laboratory at its UK headquarters in Dunton that will support the delivery of its European electrification plans.

The laboratory at the Essex site comprises eight vehicle-size rooms capable of testing electric power units and propulsion systems – maximising development time, and which includes round-the-clock component reliability sign off.

Its test rooms are configured to test EV, hybrid and combustion powertrains, flexing between technologies in anticipation of market changes and customer requirements.

Ford is set to launch five van-based electric vehicles by 2025, and the first tests at the new lab will involve its E-Transit Courier and E-Transit Custom models.

During the last two years Ford has invested £47 million in the adjacent Advanced Propulsion Laboratory (APL) and separate Electrified Powertrain in Manufacturing Engineering (E:PRiME) prototype build facility.

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 the Ford Halewood Plant on Merseyside where more than 400,000 of the power units will be assembled annually from later this year.

Lisa Brankin, Chair and MD of Ford Britain and Ireland, said: “I’m delighted that the transport minister Anthony Browne joined us 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.”

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