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Ford doubles down on EVs in Europe with $2 billion push

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The company aims to release seven electric models by 2024

Ford announced plans to introduce seven new electric vehicles in Europe as part of a $2 billion investment. The automaker aims to sell 600,000 battery-powered vehicles on the continent by 2026, building toward a goal of all EV sales and complete carbon neutrality across its production footprint by 2035.

The news comes on the heels of Ford’s announcement that it would be splitting its business into two parts: one focuses on traditional gas-powered vehicles called Ford Blue and the other on EVs and software called Ford Model e. Ford expects half of its global sales to be electric vehicles by 2030, including all of its passenger vehicles in Europe.

Previously, the automaker had said it would spend $1 billion to convert a plant in Cologne, Germany, into its first EV production line on the continent. Now, the company says it expects to produce 1.2 million vehicles over six years, with a total product investment of $2 billion.

Those products include three new passenger vehicles, including a sport crossover with a range of 500 km (311 miles) and an electric version of the company’s Ford Puma, a compact crossover, which will go into production at the company’s plant in Craiova, Romania, in 2024. (The company did not provide any details about the third vehicle.)

Ford will also put four commercial EVs into production, including electric versions of its Transit Courier and Tourneo Courier multipurpose vans. (The company’s first commercial EV, the E-Transit van, is launching in Europe next quarter.)

“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,” said Stuart Rowley, chair, Ford of Europe, in a statement.

Ford plans on building a battery manufacturing plant in Turkey with SK On Co, a subsidiary of South Korean battery giant SK Innovation. The two companies previously formed a joint venture to explore plans to build a battery facility in the US. The South Korean company also supplies batteries for the Ford Mustang Mach-E.

Ford is immersed in a high-stakes race against its rivals as the auto industry struggles to catch up to Tesla, the most valuable automaker in the world and the top seller of EVs. While Ford sells more F-series trucks every year than Tesla’s entire output, investors have rewarded Elon Musk’s vision of an all-electric future with a significantly higher share price and more confidence about his company’s future prospects.

Ford CEO Jim Farley is trying to change that narrative with an effort to show that his company can compete. Ford recently announced that it was doubling production of its upcoming electric pickup truck, the F-150 Lightning, and tripling production for the Mustang Mach-E, with the expectation that it will reach over 200,000 units per year by 2023. Ford’s electric delivery van, the E-Transit, also goes on sale early this year.