Ford is moving forward with its plans to electrify its vehicle lineup for European customers. In a March 14 press release, it said it would introduce 3 new battery-electric passenger vehicles and 4 new battery-electric commercial vehicles by 2024. They will join the Mustang Mach-E and E-Transit to bring the total of Ford’s electrified offerings in Europe to 9.
“Today’s announcement builds on the recent news that the company has created a new global business unit — Ford Model e — focused on the design, production, and distribution of electric and connected vehicles,” the company says. “Together with Ford Pro, the business unit focused on Ford’s commercial vehicle business, these two business units will define Ford’s future in Europe.”
Ford CEO Jim Farley says, “I am delighted to see the pace of change in Europe — challenging our entire industry to build better, cleaner and more digital vehicles. Ford is all-in and moving fast to meet the demand in Europe and around the globe. This is why we have created Ford Model e — allowing us to move at the speed of a start-up to build electric vehicles that delight and offer connected services unique to Ford and that are built with Ford-grade engineering and safety.”
When the full range of electrified vehicles is available, Ford expects its annual EV sales in Europe to exceed 600,000 vehicles in 2026, and more than 2 million worldwide. “Our march toward an all-electric future is an absolute necessity for Ford to meet the mobility needs of customers across a transforming Europe,” says Stuart Rowley, head of Ford of Europe. “It’s also about the pressing need for greater care of our planet, making a positive contribution to society and reducing emissions in line with the Paris Climate Agreement.”
MEB-Based Electric Cars
On the commercial side, Ford is developing 5 battery-electric models starting with the E-Transit, which is already in production. Jim Farley has said Ford intends to be the “Tesla of commercial vehicles.” According to Autocar, the Transit Custom, a one ton van, and the Tourneo Custom, a multi-purpose vehicle, will arrive in 2023, followed in 2024 by a smaller Transit Courier and Tourneo Courier multi-purpose vehicle in 2024.
On the passenger car side of things, of the three new electric cars for the European market, two will be based on the MEB electric car chassis from Volkswagen. The first of those cars is officially described as a “medium-sized crossover” that is expected to be a variation of the Volkswagen ID.4. It will be built at Ford’s new EV manufacturing center in Cologne, Germany, and will be launched in 2023.
Ford’s second EV will also be built at the Cologne factory and is described as a “sports crossover” due in 2024. Autocar says that description suggests it will be more of a performance oriented derivative of the first car, perhaps one based on the Volkswagen ID.5. Stuart Rowley says, “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.”
Today, the Ford Puma is the company’s best selling model in Europe as the world goes mad for SUV-type vehicles. Today, the Puma comes with what is called a “mild hybrid powertrain,” but beginning in 2024, an all electric Puma will be the third EV model produced at the Cologne factory. At this moment, there is no mention of it using the Volkswagen MEB platform.
New Battery Joint Venture
Ford has also announced this week a new battery joint venture with SK On and Koc Holding to establish “one of Europe’s largest commercial vehicle production facilities” at a new factory near Ankara, Turkey. One can only wonder about the wisdom of basing a critical part of the supply chain for Ford’s European EV initiative in a country dominated by an authoritarian strongman, given the current situation in Ukraine.
In total, Ford says all 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.