Some 500 automotive jobs will reportedly be saved on Merseyside after Ford selected Halewood to help realise its plan to sell only electric cars in the UK and Europe by 2030.

The US manufacturer announced in February all of its cars and vans would have an electric or plug-in hybrid option by mid-2024, before its cars go pure electric by the end of the decade.

The firm will spend £230 million converting its factory in Halewood, Liverpool, which currently makes transmissions, to start producing up to 250,000 electric power units per year from 2024, according to The Times.

The decision was reached after the Government made some £30 million available to firms through the Automotive Transformation Fund, the paper added.

Ford has stopped short of setting a date for when it will cease selling diesel-fuelled commercial vehicles, but said in February two-thirds of sales were “expected” to be pure electric or plug-in hybrid by 2030.

The firm is investing 22 billion US dollars (£16 billion) in developing electric technology over the next four years.

This will include an electric vehicle manufacturing plant in Cologne, Germany.

A general view of the Halewood Ford plant on Merseyside
The Halewood factory currently makes transmissions but will start producing up to 250,000 electric power units annually (Dave Kendall/PA)

In November, Prime Minister Boris Johnson brought forward the UK’s ban on sales of conventionally-fuelled cars and vans from 2040 to 2030 as part of his “green industrial revolution”.

Ford is the UK’s most popular new car brand with a 10% share of the market, according to the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders.

The Ford Transit is also the country’s best-selling new van.

Ford closed its engine factory in Bridgend, South Wales, with the loss of 1,700 jobs in September last year.

It has another engine plant in Dagenham, Essex, in addtion to the Halewood facility.