The firm has detailed its electrification strategy, with first bespoke EV to be based on the Volkswagen ID 4
Ford will launch seven new electric vehicles in Europe by 2024, with the three-strong range of new cars spearheaded by a new crossover utilising Volkswagen’s MEB platform technology.
Revealing the news, Ford head of Europe Stuart Rowley described the announcement – which includes a net-zero goal by 2035 as well as a pledge to sell only EVs from that date – as “pivotal” in the firm’s near-120-year history. The new vehicles will join the Ford Mustang Mach-E and E-Transit in the firm’s fully electric line-up.
The three new electric cars will come under the new Ford Model E division, set up to separate the firm’s battery-electric business from its combustion-engined one, now called Ford Blue, as part of a structural shake-up instigated by boss Jim Farley earlier this month.
The first car to be launched is expected to be based on the Volkswagen ID 4 and sit below the Ford Mustang Mach-E in Ford’s line-up. It will be built at Ford’s new state-of-the-art EV manufacturing centre in Cologne, Germany, launching in 2023 and being described officially as a “medium-sized crossover”.
Ford’s second EV to be built at the plant will be launched the following year, and is described as a “sports crossover”. This suggests it will be a more performance-oriented coupé derivative of the first car to be launched, potentially based on the Volkswagen ID 5.
Talking about the Volkswagen MEB-derived cars, Rowley added: “Let me assure you these products will absolutely look like Fords, drive like Fords and the experiences that we provide will give customers unique purchase and ownership experiences.”
The cars will be joined in Ford’s all-electric line-up by the Ford Puma EV, which will be sold as a stand-alone model from 2024. As a result of reworking Ford’s production capacity to achieve this, the Ford Ecosport will cease production later this year.
In addition, four electric commercial vehicles will be launched from next year. The Transit Custom one-tonne van and Tourneo Custom multi-purpose vehicles will go on sale in 2023, followed in 2024 by a smaller, new Transit Courier and Tourneo Courier multi-purpose vehicle in 2024.
Ford says that as a result of the launches, it expects to sell 600,000 EVs annually by 2026, with 1.2 million electric cars made in Cologne over a six-year period. As a result, it is investing an additional £1.5bn in developing the plant.
Additionally, in order to meet these ambitions, Ford has announced a joint venture with SK On and Koc Holding to establish a battery plant in Turkey. It says that this will create “one of Europe’s largest commercial vehicle production facilities”.
As a knock-on effect, Ford is also moving ownership of its Craiova manufacturing facility in Romania into a joint venture with Ford Otosan.
Ford says that these initiatives will allow it to achieve zero emissions for all vehicle sales and carbon neutrality across its entire European footprint of facilities, logistics and suppliers by 2035.