Ford extends Volkswagen deal as it launches European EV future

Motor giants Ford and Volkswagen have announced an extension to their electric vehicle platforms, as Ford revealed ambitious plans for the future of its vehicles.

The US firm said its announcement delivers “significant strides toward an all-electric future in Europe”, which will see the company offering a new generation of seven, all-electric, fully-connected passenger vehicles and vans by 2024.

“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,” said Jim Farley, Ford president and CEO.

“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.”

With the extended range of electric passenger and commercial vehicle models, Ford said it expects its annual sales of electric vehicles in Europe to exceed 600,000 units in 2026. The acceleration in Europe supports Ford’s goal to sell more than 2 million EVs globally by 2026.

“Our march toward an all-electric future is an absolute necessity for Ford to meet the mobility needs of customers across a transforming Europe,” said Stuart Rowley, chair, 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.”

Following the European introduction of the all-electric Mach-E in 2021 and Mach-E GT this year, plus the launch of the E-Transit in the next quarter, Ford unveiled plans for seven all-electric vehicles in Europe – three new passenger vehicles and four new commercial vehicles.

Starting in 2023, Ford will begin production of an all-new electric passenger vehicle, a medium-sized crossover, built in Cologne with a second electric vehicle added to the Cologne production line-up in 2024. In addition, Ford’s top-selling passenger vehicle in Europe, the Ford Puma, will be available as an electric version made in Craiova, Romania, starting in 2024.

“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 Rowley.

Ford confirmed that the first volume all-electric passenger vehicle to come out of the Ford Cologne Electrification Centre will be a five-seat, medium-sized crossover. There will also be a second, all-electric passenger vehicle – a sports crossover. It means that electric vehicle production at the facility will increase to 1.2 million vehicles over a six-year timeframe. Investment in the new electric passenger vehicles to be built in Cologne is expected to be $2 billion.

Ford and Volkswagen are to expand their e-mobility partnership. Ford plans to produce another electric model for the European market based on the MEB (Modular Electric Toolkit) platform.

The agreement was signed as part of the strategic alliance between Volkswagen and Ford, which includes e-mobility, commercial vehicles and autonomous driving. Designed as an open vehicle platform, the MEB allows car manufacturers to electrify their portfolio quickly and cost-effectively.

Thomas Schmall, Volkswagen Group Board of Management member for Technology and CEO of Volkswagen Group Components: “Profitability and speed are now crucial for finally achieving the breakthrough of e-mobility in Europe. We are tackling both together with Ford. Today’s agreement will further accelerate the electrification of the two companies. This is also proof of the strengths of the MEB, which provides a unique package of high-tech, competitive costs and speed in implementing projects. The electric platform is thus the ideal solution for companies looking to speed up their electrification.”

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