Ford has announced plans to introduce three new electric passenger cars and four new electric commercial vehicles in Europe by 2024. The goal is to sell more than 600,000 electric vehicles annually in Europe from 2026. There are also details of Ford’s MEB model.
This plan for Europe builds on the recent announcement that Ford has created a new global business unit, Ford Model e, for the electric vehicle business and aims to sell more than two million electric vehicles worldwide by 2026. So 30 per cent of these are expected to come from Europe.
In 2023 Ford will start production of an all-new electric car at its plant in Cologne, namely the model for which Ford will use Volkswagen’s MEB. As the manufacturer now confirms, it will be a medium-sized five-seater sports crossover. The technical data of the powertrain will probably be derived from the corresponding VW vehicles. How far the sports crossover will stand out from a VW ID.4 or the presumably similarly sized but somewhat more (range) powerful Ford Mustang Mach-E is not clear from the announcement.
From 2024, production in Cologne will be expanded by a second new all-electric model – Ford does not yet give details on this in the current announcement. However, the graphic published by Ford for the electric vehicle model line-up in 2024 still shows a “medium-size crossover” between the Mustang Mach-E and the sports crossover.
Ford’s second electric car from Cologne will also be an MEB model
While Ford thus does not confirm whether it’s new EV will also be an MEB model or an in-house development, Volkswagen explained more accurately: According to the Wolfsburg-based company’s own announcement, both carmakers are deepening their MEB alliance. Ford will also build a second E-model based on the VW modular system, and the agreed volume has now been increased from 600,000 to 1.2 million vehicles over the six-year term.
“Profitability and speed are now crucial for finally achieving the breakthrough of e-mobility in Europe,” says Thomas Schmall, Volkswagen Group Board Member for Technology and CEO of Volkswagen Group Components. “We are tackling both together with Ford. Today’s agreement will further accelerate the electrification of the two companies.”
VW also confirms in its statement that Ford’s first MEB model will be a crossover. Regarding the second model, VW points out that Ford has not yet given any detailed information on this.
What is clear is that the investment in the Cologne Electrification Centre – a total of 1.8 billion euros is to be invested over six years – also includes the construction of a new plant for the assembly of vehicle batteries, which is to start production in 2024.
Ford also confirmed the rumour of an all-electric Puma. Ford’s best-selling Puma passenger car model in Europe is to be available from 2024 as an electric-only car and will be built in Craiova, Romania – where the combustion version of the Puma is already rolling off the production line today.
The Craiova plant also leads on to the four planned commercial vehicles: The electric version of the Ford Transit Courier panel van is also to be built there from 2024, as is the Tourneo Courier passenger car version. Possible technical data of the drive for Transit Courier, Tourneo Courier and Puma are not yet known.
The other electric utility vehicles are also part of the Transit series: the Transit Custom in the one-tonne van segment and the Tourneo Custom MPV – both are around five metres long – will be launched in 2023. Here, too, Ford is not yet giving any technical data. Production will probably take place in Turkey, as with the large E-Transit.
“These new Ford electric vehicles signal what is nothing less than the total transformation of our brand in Europe – a new generation of zero-emission vehicles, optimized for a connected world, offering our customers truly outstanding user experiences,” says Europe boss Stuart Rowley. Ford is known to want to build only battery-electric cars in Europe from 2030.
Ford has also signed a letter of intent with SK On and Koç Holding for a new joint venture in Turkey. Subject to the signing of a final agreement, the three partners plan to establish one of the largest production facilities for commercial vehicle batteries in Europe. The joint venture would be based near Ankara and produce nickel-rich NMC cells for installation in battery modules. Production is expected to start in the middle of the decade. The planned annual capacity will be 30 to 45 GWh.
“I am delighted to see the pace of change in Europe,” says Jim Farley, CEO of Ford. “[…]challenging our entire industry to build better, cleaner and more digital vehicles. Ford is all-in and moving fast to meet the demand in Europe and around the globe.”
With reporting by Sebastian Schaal, Germany.
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