Ford accelerates electric vehicle push in Europe with seven new models

Car manufacturer also to build battery gigafactory in Turkey and phase out emissions from vans by 2035

Ford has accelerated its electric vehicle plans for Europe, launching seven new models, announcing a battery gigafactory in Turkey, doubling investment in Germany and the phasing out emissions from vans by 2035.

The US manufacturer had previously pledged to make all cars in Europe electric by 2030 but had not set an end date for commercial vehicles. The move casts further doubt on the future of Ford’s Dagenham plant in the UK, which makes diesel engines for Transit vans.

Ford said it would launch seven new electric models in Europe by 2024, and was targeting sales of 600,000 EVs a year on the continent by 2026 – a vast increase. Its sole model currently on sale, the Mustang Mach E imported from Mexico, sold just 23,000 units in 2021.

Ford restructured its businesses earlier this month to focus its efforts to catch up with rivals in electric vehicle manufacturing. Ford of Europe chairman Stuart Rowley said the company was “stepping into our future” and “capitalising on our strengths to build a thriving, profitable business, while also doing our part to protect the planet”.

He said: “We’re delivering for customers in Europe, with the focus and speed of a startup at the leading edge of technology, supported by the deep expertise in engineering and high-volume production.”

Asked about Ford in the UK, Rowley said: “Although by 2035 we’ll be all-electric, the diesel segment in light commercial vans in the medium term will remain very important so Dagenham is a key contributor to that business.”

Rowley said Ford had been “an important partner in the UK automotive industry for over 100 years now and that remains absolutely the case”. Last October it invested £230m to upgrade its Halewood plant in Merseyside for making electric vehicle parts.

New petrol and diesel vans will be banned from sale in the UK from 2030.

Ford will meanwhile be investing $2bn at its Cologne site and deepening its partnership with Volkswagen to double the number of cars built using its drive technology, to 1.2m vehicles over six years.

It has also signed a memorandum of understanding for a joint venture to build one of Europe’s largest battery factories, manufacturing nickel cells at a plant near Ankara, with backing from the Turkish government.

An electric version of the Puma, Ford’s bestselling passenger vehicle in Europe last year, will be available from 2024, to be manufactured at the global firm’s plant in Craiova, Romania.

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