Ford invests £230m into UK electric vehicle manufacturing

The investment comes with government support through the Automotive Transformation Fund.

Ford invests £230m into UK electric vehicle manufacturing

LONDON — Automaker Ford is investing £230 million to build key components for the firm’s electric vehicle line near Liverpool.

The firm’s Halewood transmission plant in Merseyside will build Ford’s e-drive systems. The factory currently employs 500 people. 

The move is “​​fantastic news,” said Business Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng on Monday. Kwarteng’s Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEIS) held talks with Ford over the “eTrans” investment. The investment comes with government support through the Automotive Transformation Fund.

The investment will make the Halewood plant Ford’s first European plant to produce these parts.

The investment is “a vote of confidence in the U.K. and the North West, securing the plant’s future and high-skilled jobs for years to come,” said Kwarteng.

Production at the plant is set to begin in 2024. The move follow’s Nissan’s £423 million investment in electric vehicle production in the U.K. at its Sunderland plant in July.

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Valneva reports positive results for coronavirus vaccine

The French company has already submitted its vaccine candidate to the UK's medicines regulator.

Valneva reports positive results for coronavirus vaccine

The coronavirus vaccine developed by Valneva was successful in a late-stage clinical trial, the French company announced on Monday.

Based on a trial with 4,012 participants, Valneva said that its vaccine prevented coronavirus infections at a similar rate to the Oxford/AstraZeneca shot. It also stimulated the creation of protective antibodies at a higher rate than the vaccine with which it was being compared.

The Valneva shot is the only vaccine on clinical trial in Europe based on an inactivated, adjuvanted virus vector — a more traditional form of vaccine than mRNA or adenoviral-vector shots. Similar technology is used in the Chinese vaccines from Sinopharm and Sinovac.  

In terms of safety, Valneva said that participants who received its vaccine reported “significantly fewer” adverse side-effects when compared with Oxford/AstraZeneca.

Analysis shows that the shot provoked the creation of a broad spectrum of T-cells, which along with antibodies give protection against the coronavirus, and which are understood to be linked with long-term immunity.

If Valneva is approved it could help further diversify vaccine production and the use of an inactivated virus vector could also benefit the developing world which already has facilities to manufacture the older technology.

The French company has already submitted its vaccine candidate to the U.K.’s medicines regulator for rolling review, and said that final quality controls were taking place before it submitted a final clinical study report. It was preparing to submit a rolling review application with the European Medicines Agency, Valneva added.

Source : Politico EU More   

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