Vauxhall has this morning announced it will ditch the petrol and diesel engine from 2028 and sell only fully-electric cars and vans in the UK from that date.
The announcement comes in the same week the brand confirmed it is converting its Ellesmere Port factory – which currently produces the Astra hatchback – into an electric van plant.
With the battery-powered Corsa-e the UK’s most-bought new EV currently, the marque has also promised a return for the iconic Opel Manta as a fully-electric vehicle to be sold in Britain.
The decision means Vauxhall dealers will be offering only battery powered cars two years ahead of the Government’s plan to ban the sale of new models with internal combustion engines from 2030.
Vauxhall to go all-electric in the UK: The British marque has confirmed it will stop selling petrol and diesel cars and vans by 2028 – two years ahead of the Government’s plan to ban them
Making the announcement on Friday morning, Vauxhall said it is ‘opening the next chapter of its comprehensive electrification offensive’.
Paul Willcox, managing director of Vauxhall Motors, added: ‘As of 2028, Vauxhall will only offer fully electric cars and vans in the UK.
‘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 all-electric target of 2028 for Vauxhall will be more immediate than other brands under the banner of parent group Stellantis, which also includes the likes of Peugeot, Citroen, Fiat and Jeep.
With Vauxhall being a UK-only product – with the same models sold as Opels in mainland Europe – it makes sense for it to sell only electric vehicles ahead of the Government’s plans to banish internal combustion engine cars by the end of the decade.
One of the new EV models already promised by bosses is a ‘modern day version of the Opel Manta’ – which was originally available from 1970 to 1988 in two generations, Manta A and Manta B – following a ‘positive public reception’ to the Manta GSe ElektroMOD restomod unveiled in May.
The concept shown earlier this year has a 31kWh battery and 145bhp electric motor.
The claimed range is 124 miles, while an on-board 9kW charger means a full charge takes four hours.
It has brake regeneration technology that helps it to recoup energy when slowing down that would have otherwise been wasted.
One of the new EV models already promised by bosses is a ‘modern day version of the Opel Manta’ following a ‘positive public reception’ to this Manta GSe ElektroMOD that was unveiled just two months ago
The concept shown earlier this year has a 31kWh battery and 145bhp electric motor. The claimed range is 124 miles, while an on-board 9kW charger means a full charge takes four hours
The decision will see Vauxhall become one of the first mainstream brands in Britain to stop selling petrol and diesel cars. Its biggest rival, Ford, has promised to offer only plug-in hybrids and EVs from 2027 before going entirely electric in 2030
Currently, Vauxhall offers nine electric or electrified cars and vans with the Corsa-e, Mokka-e, Grandland PHEV (Plug-in Hybrid), Combo-e, Combo-e Life, Vivaro-e, Vivaro-e Life and Movano-e.
In the first six months of this year, Corsa-e is the bestselling battery electric supermini and Vauxhall itself is the UK’s number one electric van manufacturer.
With the introduction of the all-electric Combo-e and Movano-e LCVs, Vauxhall will offer fully electric vans across its range by the end of 2021.
Including the car range, the entire Vauxhall portfolio will offer electrified versions by 2024 and then move to fully electric in 2028.
The decision will see Vauxhall become one of the first mainstream brands in Britain to stop selling petrol and diesel cars.
Its biggest rival, Ford, has promised to offer only plug-in hybrids and EVs from 2027 before going entirely electric in 2030.
In the first six months of this year, Corsa-e is the bestselling battery electric supermini
The Corsa-e is priced from £26,390, which is £9,735 more than the entry Vauxhall supermini with a petrol engine. The electric version also has £2,500 knocked off the asking price as it qualifies for the Government’s Plug-in Vehicle Grant
The Vauxhall Corsa-e has a claimed full battery range of up to 209 miles and can take just 30 minutes to charge to 80% battery capacity
The news of Vauxhall becoming all-electric from 2028 follows parent company Stellantis confirming on Thursday that the group will invest €30 billion (£21.7 billion) by 2025 in its electrification strategy for the next decade.
By 2030, it said that 70 per cent of its European sales will be low emissions vehicles, which includes both plug-in hybrid and full electric vehicles.
It has promised a host of new electrified models across its portfolio of 14 brands, ranging from city cars to pick-up trucks.
It also announced that it will built its first ‘gigafactory’ in Italy, having previously suggested that the UK was in the running for the home of its initial battery-making plant.
Vauxhall’s transition to becoming an all-electric vehicle maker follows the announcement on Tuesday that the Ellesmere Port plant in Cheshire will be the first Stellantis plant to produce solely electric vehicles.
A £100million investment will see the Vauxhall Combo-e LCV and passenger version (as well as Peugeot and Citroen versions on the same platform) go into production at the site at the end of next year.
The Opel Manta GSe ElektroMOD concept is real-wheel drive and features a single-speed gearbox
The design is very much in the ilk of the Opel Mata A, which was produced from 1970 to 1975
The Vauxhall Vivaro-e commercial vehicle is currently built in Luton, but the decision to convert Ellesmere Port into Stellantis’ first electric production site will see it moved there by the end of 2022
The Vivaro-e Life is a large family MPV based on the Vivaro-e van. It will be produced at Ellesmere Port
The move will safeguard around 1,000 jobs at the plant – and up to 7,000 workers in the supply chain, according to union Unite – and receive funding from the UK Government.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson sent a video message to the firm’s bosses and workers at the factory earlier this week, while Business Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng was in attendance at the plant for the announcement.
Mr Johnson said: ‘It’s a huge vote of confidence in our economy, in the people of Ellesmere Port and in our fantastic post-Brexit trading relationships.
‘And it’s a great example of the kind of high-skilled, well-paid jobs that we’re securing as part of our green, industrial revolution.
‘The Stellantis plant marks the new age of cheap and efficient mass-produced electric vehicles.
‘And I could not be more proud of the fact that, in just a couple of years from now, your packages will be gliding silently to your door in an electric van marked ‘Made in Great Britain’.’
Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Tuesday delivered a video message on stage during the press conference announcing Stellantis’ investment in the Vauxhall Ellesmere Port plant to build new electric vehicles
Kwasi Kwarteng, Secretary of State at the Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, speaking during a press conference at the factory, where it was announced that the site is to become parent company Stellantis’s first manufacturing facility dedicated to solely battery-electric models, in both commercial and passenger versions, by the end of next year
Mr Kwarteng would not be drawn on the exact arrangements during a round of media interviews at the factory.
He said: ‘We have contributed an amount. But of course that has been superseded and dwarfed by Stellantis, the £100 million, that Stellantis has put into this investment.
‘You will appreciate we talk with lots of automotive companies; the amount of support we give is commercially sensitive and I’m not going to disclose that to you on television.
‘What we have to appreciate is every advanced manufacturing country is supporting the automotive sector, is supporting really what is a once-in-a-generation transition away from traditional internal combustion engine machines to electric vehicles, to hydrogen vehicles in some cases, but this is really a new green, industrial revolution, and we are happy to back it.’
Mr Kwarteng added: ‘I think we are much more flexible outside the EU, I’m not going to say we wouldn’t have been able to do it in the EU, but I think clearly we are in a much more flexible situation, we can have much more nimble action.
‘And certainly in my role as Business Secretary, I’ve been struck by the number of people who have come to my door, wanting to invest in the UK and very excited about the prospects of investing here after our departure from the EU.’
SAVE MONEY ON MOTORING