Ford Motor Company is announcing a major overhaul of its European operations. The overhaul includes plans to convert its Cologne, Germany assembly plant into an EV factory. Subsequently, the company says its entire European lineup will be electric by 2030.
The 2030 target is hardly a surprise. The United Kingdom government has already announced plans to ban the sell of most internal combustion powered vehicles by 2030. The UK’s plan will dictate automaker’s plans should they choose to continue selling products in the country. However, Ford is also committing to an incremental step.
Ford says every vehicle in the company’s European passenger car lineup will offer a plug-in hybrid or battery-electric option by mid-2026. Interestingly, the company’s important commercial vehicle lineup will be zero-emissions-capable by 2024. Ford expects two-thirds of its commercial vehicle sales in Europe to be electrified by 2030.
German Architecture in a German Plant
Supporting Ford Europe’s lofting electrification goals will be a $1 billion investment into its Cologne, Germany plant. The plant currently produces the Ford Fiesta, but will be overhauled to build electric vehicles. Cologne will churn out its first high-volume battery-electric model in 2023. Volkswagen’s MEB architecture will underpin the new Ford EV, marking it as the first vehicle to leverage Ford’s partnership with VW.
Ford has not disclosed details regarding the MEB-based vehicle. The automaker did disclose that it has the option to produce a second MEB-based vehicle in Cologne as well.
“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,” said Ford of Europe president Stuart Rowley. “It underlines our commitment to Europe and a modern future with electric vehicles at the heart of our strategy for growth.