The Mustang Mach-E is just the start; here's how the next decade looks for Ford's electrification push
By Matt Bird / Wednesday, February 17, 2021 / Loading comments
Once upon a time, an announcement by just one of the legacy carmakers about a move to an all-electric range would have been making headlines for a week. But this is 2021, and Jaguar's news was on Monday; now it's more than 48 hours later, and so another huge carmaker is making a similar decision. Ford has today confirmed that "by mid-2026, 100 per cent of its passenger vehicle range in Europe will be zero-emissions capable, all-electric or plug-in hybrid; moving to all-electric by 2030." Which, even given the JLR news, is pretty significant – there are rather more cars to think about where Ford is concerned…
There have been electric Fords before, of course – the first Focus Electric was made a decade ago – but this announcement marks a much more serious change in product strategy from the Blue Oval given the timeframe involved. It covers commercial vehicles, too, with two-thirds expected to be all-electric or plug-in by 2030. Again, though electrified Transits are in the current line-up, it's a big step from there to just one in three Ford vans having only a combustion engine.
To achieve its aims, Ford is investing big: more than $1bn is being put into the Cologne plant to create the Ford Cologne Electrification Centre, with the first of the volume EVs to leave there in 2023. It's unclear what that'll be just yet, but you can rest assured that the Mustang Mach-E is just the start of Ford's broader electric ambition. The Cologne investment is part of a wider $22bn global spend on electrification between now and 2025.
Furthermore, a return to profitability in the fourth quarter of 2020 has meant the plans can continue at pace. Stuart Rowley, president of Ford Europe, has said the company is "charging into an all-electric future in Europe with expressive new vehicles and a world-class connected customer experience."
For the moment, there isn't yet any word on Ford's commitment to EVs in America; that may well become clearer as the Biden administration asserts its stance on climate change. It would be a surprise to find such a drastic move over there given the popularity of Ford's trucks but, given the current situation, who knows? There's a Mustang Mach-E road test coming to PH soon – looks like it just became even more important…
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