Vauxhall is to become an all-electric car brand before the end of the decade as part of its parent group’s new electrification strategy.
The British marque will join its European sister brand Opel in switching to a pure EV line-up by 2028 while its Ellesmere Port factory will move to become a dedicated EV plant by the end of next year.
Vauxhall says its entire passenger and commercial range will feature electrified versions by 2024 before all petrol and diesel versions are phased out by 2028.
Paul Willcox, managing director of Vauxhall Motors, said: “The future of the automotive industry is electric – and Vauxhall will lead that in this country. We are on a journey to reinvent Vauxhall and heading towards a net zero CO2 future – CO2 is the new currency in our industry.”
The brand already sells nine electrified models including all-electric versions of the Corsa and Mokka, alongside a plug-in hybrid version of the Grandland X SUV. It also offers the Combo-e, Combo-e Life, Vivaro-e, Vivaro-e Life and Movano-e vans and people carriers and its entire commerical range will be available as EVs by the end of 2021.
Its move towards a fully electric line-up will be spearheaded by a performance EV called the Manta-e. Resurrecting the name of the famous 1970s coupe, details are still to be confirmed but it is expected to be heavily influenced by the well-received Manta GSe Elektromod which was revealed earlier this year.
The announcement was made as part of parent group Stellantis’s EV Day, in which it set out the broader electrification strategy for all its brands, including Peugeot, Citroen, Fiat and Jeep. In future it will concentrate on four scalable platforms for everything from city cars to performance SUVs and commercial vehicles, with ranges of between 300 and 500 miles.
It also comes hot on the heels of news that the Ellesmere Port factory, whose future had been in doubt, will become the group’s first plant dedicated to producing electric vehicles, and that Nissan is to create a new EV hub in Sunderland.
A £100 million investment will see the site in Cheshire produce commercial and passenger vehicles for Vauxhall, Opel, Peugeot and Citroen.
By the end of next year the factory, which currently produces the Astra hatchback, will build the Vauxhall/Opel Combo-e van and Combo-e Life people carrier along with the Citroen and Peugeot versions of the model, badged e-Berlingo and e-Partner/e-Rifter.
Carlos Tavares, CEO at Stellantis, said: “Performance is always the trigger for sustainability and this £100million investment demonstrates our commitment to the UK and to Ellesmere Port. I particularly want to thank our highly skilled, dedicated workforce for their patience and contribution; we never let them down. Equally, I want to thank our partners the Unite Union for their open mind set and strong cooperation and, of course, the UK Government for their continued support. Producing battery electric vehicles here will support clean, safe and affordable mobility for the citizens. Since 1903 Vauxhall has manufactured vehicles in Britain and we will continue to do so.”