Ford is taking a big step toward its goal of becoming carbon neutral by 2050. The American automaker announced that its Ford factory in Cologne, Germany, will be its first CO2-neutral production site in Europe.
The Ford factory, which has been operating since 1931, will undergo a major transformation to produce Ford's next-generation electric cars. Ford plans to invest $1.2 billion in the site, including a new battery assembly center and a state-of-the-art vehicle assembly hall.
The Ford factory will also switch to using 100% renewable energy sources, such as wind and solar power, by 2023. This will reduce the site's CO2 emissions by 75%, or about 140,000 tons annually. Ford will also implement other measures to improve energy efficiency and reduce waste.
The first electric car to roll off the Ford factory line will be a new model based on Volkswagen's modular electric platform (MEB), which is also used for the VW ID.4 and other EVs. Ford expects to start production of this model in 2023 and aims to sell more than 600,000 MEB-based vehicles in Europe over six years. Ford says that this new electric car will offer a compelling driving experience, a spacious interior, and a range of smart features and technologies. It will also be affordable and accessible to a wide range of customers.
Ford's decision to transform its Cologne factory is part of its larger strategy to electrify its entire European portfolio. The company announced earlier this year that it would offer only electric or plug-in hybrid versions of its passenger cars in Europe by mid-2026 and will go fully electric by 2030.
Ford also plans to invest more than $22 billion globally in electrification through 2025, which is nearly twice its previous commitment. The company says that electrification is good for the environment and its business and customers.