By Nick Carey
LONDON (Reuters) – Ford Motor Co on Wednesday said its car lineup in Europe will be all-electric by 2030 as the U.S. automaker races to get ahead of CO2 emissions targets and looming bans in some countries on fossil fuel vehicles.
The carmaker said it will invest $1 billion over the next 30 months to convert its vehicle assembly plant in Cologne, Germany, to become the U.S. automaker’s first electric vehicle facility in Europe.
“This reinforces our commitment to the European region,” Stuart Rowley, head of Ford’s European operations, said during a news conference.
Ford said its first European-built, all-electric passenger vehicle will be produced at the facility from 2023 and is considering building a second model there.
The carmaker has a strategic alliance with Volkswagen AG, under which Ford will use its German partner’s MEB electric vehicle platform to build some models. Rowley said the model out of Cologne will be the first to use Volskwagen’s MEB platform.
The No.2 U.S. automaker said that by 2026 it will have electric versions of all its passenger cars on sale in Europe and that by 2030 two=thirds of its commercial vehicle sales in Europe will be fully electric or plug-in hybrids.
The company said it will have plug-in hybrid or fully-electric versions of its entire commercial vehicle range available by 2024.
Ford currently dominates the U.S. and European markets for gasoline-powered commercial vehicles with shares of 40% and almost 15%, respectively.
The carmaker said its commercial vehicle business is “key to future growth and profitability.”
Ford said this month it was “doubling down” on connected electric vehicles and said it will invest $22 billion in electrification through 2025, nearly twice what it had previously committed to EVs.
This week Jaguar Land Rover, owned by India’s Tata Motors, said its luxury Jaguar brand would be entirely electric by 2025 and the carmaker will launch e-models of its entire lineup by 2030.
Last month, Ford’s Detroit rival General Motors Co said it aims to an entirely zero-emission lineup by 2035.
(Reporting by Nick Carey; editing by Jason Neely)