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Ford is investing $ 1 billion in an electric vehicle production facility in Cologne. The European branch of the automotive giant is committed to going all-in for electric vehicles in the coming years.
In plans announced Wednesday morning, Ford said its entire range of passenger cars in Europe will be “zero emission, all-electric or plug-in hybrid” by mid-2026, with an “all-electric” offering by 2030.
By investing in Cologne, the company is updating an existing assembly plant and converting it into a facility that focuses on the production of electric vehicles.
“Today’s announcement to rebuild our plant in Cologne, where we have been operating in Germany for 90 years, is one of the most significant that Ford has made in over a generation,” said Stuart Rowley, President of Ford of Europe in a statement .
“It underscores our commitment to Europe and a modern future, with electric vehicles at the heart of our growth strategy,” added Rowley.
The company also wants its commercial vehicle segment in Europe to be emission-free, plug-in hybrid or fully electric by 2024.
A “transformative” decade
With governments around the world announcing plans to move away from diesel and gasoline vehicles, Ford, along with several other major automakers, is looking to expand its electric offering and challenge companies like Elon Musk’s Tesla.
Earlier this week, Jaguar Land Rover announced that its Jaguar brand will be fully electric by 2025. The company, which belongs to Tata Motors, also said its Land Rover segment will introduce six “all-electric variants” over the next 5 years.
The South Korean car maker Kia will launch its first special electric vehicle this year, while the German Volkswagen Group is investing around 35 billion euros in battery electric vehicles and plans to bring around 70 fully electric models to market by 2030.
Last month, the CEO of Daimler told CNBC that the automotive industry was “in the midst of a change”.
“In addition to the things that we know well – to be honest, building the most coveted cars in the world – there are two technological trends on which we are doubling down: electrification and digitization,” Ola Källenius told CNBC’s Annette Weisbach.
The Stuttgart-based company has “invested billions in these new technologies,” he added, explaining that they would “drive our path to carbon-free driving.” This decade, he continued, was “transformative”.