In the latest effort by the world's largest automakers to set targets to move away from polluting internal combustion engines before looming bans on fossil-fuel vehicles nationwide, Ford has promised that all of its cars on sale in Europe will be electric by 2030.
The US car giant said on Wednesday that it was going “all in” on electric vehicles and would invest $1bn (£720m) converting a vehicle assembly plant in Cologne, Germany, to become its first electric vehicle facility in Europe. It said the first all-electric cars would start rolling off the production line there in 2023.
Ford promised that all of its passenger cars in Europe would be “zero-emissions capable all-electric or plug-in hybrid” by mid-2026, before ramping up its ambitions to be “completely all-electric by 2030”.
“We are charging into an all-electric future in Europe with expressive new vehicles and a world-class connected customer experience,” Stuart Rowley, the head of Ford’s European operations, said. “Our announcement today to transform our Cologne facility, the home of our operations in Germany for 90 years, is one of the most significant Ford has made in over a generation.
“It underlines our commitment to Europe and a modern future with electric vehicles at the heart of our strategy for growth.”
Ford said that by 2030, two thirds of its passenger cars will also be all-electric or plug-in hybrids. With a 40 percent and 15 percent share of the markets, the company leads the US and European markets for petrol-powered commercial vehicles. Ford said it was "key to future growth and profitability" for its commercial vehicle business.
The carmaker has formed a partnership with Volkswagen to develop several vehicles using its modular electric drive electric vehicle platform. A VW platform will be used by the Cologne plant.
Ford said this month that it was "doubling down" on electric vehicles (EVs) and will spend at least $22 billion in electrification by 2025, about twice the previous EV expectations of the group.
The UK-based carmaker owned by India's Tata Motors, Jaguar Land Rover, said this week that its premium Jaguar brand cars would be electric-only by 2025 and would abandon petrol cars completely by the middle of the next decade.
By 2035, Ford's Detroit competitor General Motors is planning to have a fully zero-emission lineup. The plans come as car companies race to transform their business to meet strict CO2 emission targets set by governments across the world.
A ban on the selling of new cars and vans fueled solely by petrol and diesel from 2030 has been declared by the UK.
It is part of the call by Boris Johnson for a "green industrial revolution" aimed at solving the global crisis and providing new jobs for future technology. The United Kingdom has set a vision of a net zero-emission economy by 2050.
In October, EU environment ministers signed an agreement to make the bloc's 2050 net zero emissions goal legally binding.
Norway, which depends heavily on royalties from oil and gas, plans to become the first country in the world to bring an end to the selling of fossil-fuel-powered vehicles, setting a target for 2025. In Norway, fully electric cars make up nearly 60 percent of monthly sales.