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Stellantis Re-Opens Ellesmere Port as Dedicated EV Facility

The former Vauxhall Motors manufacturing facility at Ellesmere Port has re-opened as the UK’s only dedicated EV manufacturing plant, producing the full range of small commercial EVs for parent company Stellantis.

It comes just over a year after the last Astra rolled off its production line, with Stellantis closing the plant for a £100m refit to transform it into an electric vehicle factory.

Ellesmere Port is one of the oldest UK vehicle manufacturing sites still in use, built in 1962 and beginning car production in June 1964 with the Vauxhall Viva to supplement Vauxhall’s even older Luton facility.

Since then it’s produced over 5m vehicles, more than 4m of which have been Astra models — made there since 1985. From 2016-2022, it was the only plant producing the Astra following the closure of the Bochum factory in Germany and until Peugeot’s Russelsheim facility began building the current generation model.

As a dedicated EV construction plant — the only one globally in the Stellantis portfolio — Ellesmere Port will start by producing the full range of small vans.

The first vehicle off the line was a Vauxhall Combo, but it will also build the sibling Opel Combo, the Peugeot e-Partner and Citroen e-Berlingo and, also announced today, the FIAT E-Doblo. Combined annual production is set to be around 50,000 vehicles.

Starting in 2024, the facility will also produce the group’s passenger vehicles which are based on these vans, including the Citroen e-Berlingo MPV, Peugeot e-Rifter, and Vauxhall Combo Life.

The redeveloped site includes its own battery assembly shop and a new test track, while a new parts distribution warehouse is still being constructed ahead of a planned 2024 opening.

As part of its sustainability goals, Stellantis has reduced the site footprint by 60%, and will have its own “combined heat and power” (CHP) plant. There’s also plans to develop solar and wind power, and to connect to the nearby HyNet North West Hydrogen Pipeline.