Ford opens new EV-focused assembly plant in Germany

Today, Ford has opened its Cologne Electric Vehicle Center, part of the automaker’s push for its passenger vehicle range to be all-electric in Europe by 2030. The American automaker’s Cologne plant was originally founded in 1930, but in 2021, the company said it would be transforming it into an EV manufacturing center at a cost of $1 billion. As of today, the company says the plant’s transformation is “part of a $2 billion investment.”

The first car to be produced at the plant is Ford’s new all-electric Explorer made exclusively for Europe. The company is billing the crossover SUV built on top of VW’s MEB platform as its fourth electric vehicle behind the Mustang Mach-E, E-Transit, and F-150 Lightning. A “sports crossover” is scheduled to be the second electric vehicle produced at the plant. The Cologne EV center will have a total production capacity of 250,000 electric vehicles a year, according to Ford.

Last year, the company said it plans to offer seven new electric car models in Europe, including three passenger vehicles and four commercial vehicles by 2024. In total, it hopes to sell over 600,000 EVs across the continent by 2026, at the same time as producing over 2 million globally per year.

Ford is describing the facility as its first carbon neutral assembly plant globally and says it hopes to be carbon neutral across its European “facilities, logistics and direct suppliers” by 2035. Ford’s executive chair, Bill Ford, says the Cologne EV center will be “one of the most efficient and environmentally responsible plants in the entire industry.”

Correction June 12th, 10:44AM ET: This article originally stated that Ford wants to become an all-electric car company by 2030. This is incorrect. It actually wants its entire passenger range in Europe to be all-electric by 2030. The Verge regrets the error.


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