Ford Motor Co. (NYSE: F) Injects $1 Billion in Germany as It Targets EU Market for EVs

Several countries across the world have set green-energy targets as the race toward electrifying the roads heats up. European countries have set what are probably the most ambitious targets, consequently pushing automakers towards adopting green energy much faster. American car maker Ford Motor Co. (NYSE: F), for instance, has unveiled plans to spend $1 billion on modernizing a factory in Cologne, Germany, as it works towards its target of selling only electric passenger cars on the continent by 2030.

According to the automaker, the plant will be overhauled and used to produce Ford’s first European-built, mass-volume electric passenger car starting in 2023. All the passenger cars Ford sells in Europe by mid-2026 will be either all-electric or plug-in hybrids with both an internal combustion engine as well as a rechargeable battery and an electric motor, the company says. Ultimately, Ford aims to sell only all-electric passenger cars to the European market by 2030.

Stuart Rowley, president of Ford Europe, says that after successfully restructuring the company’s European operations and turning a profit in the Q4 2020, Ford is now looking at an all-electric future in Europe. While tougher regulations by European countries have forced the company to start thinking about zero-emission cars, the move is also due to increased customer interest in electric vehicles, Rowley says. Electric vehicles have seen what he calls “very strong demand,” with more customers warming up to the idea of owning and driving a zero-emission vehicle.

The move comes a few weeks after Ford announced that it was going to invest at least $22 billion worldwide until 2025 to develop and produce battery electric vehicles. That figure is inclusive of the $7 billion the automaker already spent from 2016 to the end of 2020. This commitment toward shifting to green energy can partly be attributed to Europe’s stance on carbon emissions. The continent is home to some of the most aggressive emission targets, with companies that don’t comply facing huge potential fines.

Although Ford recently delivering the Mustang Mach-E, it still has a lot of catching up to do. Volkswagen, which in 2019 announced an alliance with Ford, currently enjoys the highest EV sales in the European market while global EV leader Tesla is currently building its first European gigafactory in Berlin that will produce batteries, powertrains and vehicles, starting with the best-selling Tesla Model 3.

Aside from the Mach-E, Ford has more electric vehicles on the way, including the E-Transit commercial van, which  will roll-out to American dealerships late this year and in Europe in early 2022.

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