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Ford’s Electric Dreams Accelerate: New Lab Puts Pedal to the Metal in UK

In a move that electrifies its commitment to the future, Ford has supercharged its UK headquarters with the addition of a new £24 million Propulsion Development Laboratory. This latest investment at the Dunton Campus, known as the global hub for Ford’s booming commercial vehicle business, marks the third laboratory opening in just two years, driving the total investment over the £70 million mark for the trio of high-tech facilities.

Launched amidst much fanfare on February 14, 2024, by none other than the UK’s Transport Minister, Anthony Browne MP, the laboratory is at the forefront of developing and testing electric vehicle powertrains. The inaugural testing wheels have already spun for the E-Transit Courier, E-Transit Custom, and Ford Puma Gen-E programmes, showcasing Ford’s gear-up for an electrifying future.

The grand opening was not just a ribbon-cutting ceremony but an electrifying experience as Browne took a hands-free, feet-free cruise in the Ford Mustang Mach-E, equipped with the cutting-edge BlueCruise technology. The visit also spotlighted Ford’s hefty £47 million investment in adjacent laboratories and facilities, aimed at minimizing EV powertrain noise, vibration, and enhancing hybrid powertrains to meet stringent emissions regulations.

The Dunton Campus is buzzing with over 300 apprentices, including advanced and degree-level talents, who had the opportunity to showcase their Transit Connect development vehicle project to the minister. Their efforts are part of Ford’s broader mission to drive forward the UK’s electric vehicle production capabilities, in line with the government’s zero-emissions vehicle mandate.

Ford’s new lab is more than just a testing ground; it’s a statement of innovation, equipped with eight vehicle-size rooms to test electric power units and propulsion systems around the clock. This facility is designed to adapt to market changes and customer needs, whether they require EV, hybrid, or combustion powertrains.

Lisa Brankin, Ford Britain and Ireland’s chair and managing director, expressed her delight at the transport minister’s presence and the lab’s opening, highlighting its critical role in Ford’s European electric vehicle strategy. Meanwhile, Minister Browne lauded Ford’s commitment to scaling up the UK’s EV production, aligning with the government’s decarbonization goals.

Ford isn’t just stopping here. With plans to launch nine new EVs by 2025, including five van-based vehicles, the automotive giant is steering the UK’s top-selling van, the Ford Transit, into an electrifying future. The Dunton-based Ford Pro division is leading the charge, focusing on sales, software, charging, service, and finance solutions for customers. With this latest development, Ford is not just testing vehicles; it’s driving the future of electric mobility in the UK.

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