Ford has become the latest vehicle manufacturer to accelerate its EV transition with the aim to electrify its commercial vehicle business by 2024.
It has announced its entire commercial vehicle range will be all-electric or hybrid by 2024 – with two-thirds of sales expected to be all-electric or hybrid by 2030.
The firm is now also aiming for a mid-2026 timetable for 100% EV passenger vehicle sales across Europe with all-electric and plug-in hybrids – and a total transition to pure EV by 2030.
The news comes after Ford reported in the fourth quarter of 2020, a return to profit in Europe, and announced it was investing at least $22 billion (£15.8bn) globally in electrification through 2025 – nearly twice the company’s previous EV investment plans.
Growth in the commercial vehicle sector will be built around new services such as FordPass Pro for fleets up to five vehicles – and the launch of Ford Fleet Management, which aims to maximise productivity for fleet customers who seek bespoke services for their fleets on the road.
The growth on EVs will be driven by the $1billion (£720m) investment in its assembly plant in Cologne, Germany. The investment will transform the existing vehicle assembly operations into the Ford Cologne Electrification Center for the manufacture of electric vehicles – Ford’s first such facility in Europe.
Ford also confirmed that its first European-built, volume all-electric passenger vehicle for European customers will be produced at the facility from 2023, with the potential for a second all-electric vehicle built there under consideration.
Speaking about the move, the president of Ford in Europe, Stuart Rowley, said: “We successfully restructured Ford of Europe and returned to profitability in the fourth quarter of 2020. Now we are charging into an all-electric future in Europe with expressive new vehicles and a world-class connected customer experience.
“We expect to continue our strong momentum this year in Europe and remain on track to deliver our goal of a six percent EBIT margin as part of Ford’s plan to turnaround our global automotive operations.”
“Our announcement today to transform our Cologne facility, the home of our operations in Germany for 90 years, is one of the most significant Ford has made in over a generation. It underlines our commitment to Europe and a modern future with electric vehicles at the heart of our strategy for growth,” Rowley said.
“The decision to make the production and development site in Cologne the e-mobility center for Ford in Europe is an important signal to the entire workforce,” said Martin Hennig, chairman of the General Works Council of Ford-Werke GmbH. “It offers a long-term perspective for our employees and at the same time encourages them to help shape this electric future.”
“We will offer an exceptional range of electrified vehicles, supported by customer-centric digital services and experiences, allowing our customers to come with us on the journey to a fully electric future, starting right now with the launch of the all-electric Mustang Mach-E. In combination with our leading commercial vehicle business, this will form the basis of a sustainably profitable Ford business in Europe.”
- image from press release