Ford has committed to an all-EV line-up in Europe by 2030 and while the decision won’t affect the much-loved Ranger ute any time soon, the move will have an impact on Australia.
Ford Australia says it's too soon to discuss what impacts the Ford of Europe move will have on other markets, including Australia, but a spokesman told WhichCar it acknowledges there is growing appetite among Australian consumers for EVs and hybrid vehicles, which it will soon cater for with the 2021 Escape PHEV.
"Ford has an important role to play in reducing carbon emissions and improving the health of the planet, and we are proud to have the goal of being carbon-neutral by 2050," the spokesman said.
That goal might be expedited thanks to Ford of Europe's decision, and while Ford HQ has yet to make a similar commitment for its entire global operations, it is aggressively embracing electrification in the US where arch-rival GM announced it will be fully electric by 2035.
Whatever happens around the rest of the world, the Blue Oval’s commitment to an all-EV European line-up by 2030 will be a far-reaching one it says will cost A$28bn by 2025 – double its original EV spending plans.
In addition, Ford says 100 per cent of its European range will be “zero-emissions capable” by mid-2026, meaning all-electric or plug-in hybrid, with the entire commercial range, including Transit, being zero-emissions capable by 2024.
Ford's Europe president Stuart Rowley said this massive investment and priority shift is “an attempt to turn around manufacturing, modernise the model range and a way to disrupt ourselves” to catch up with the likes of the Volkswagen Group and the newly formed Stallantis’ race to electrify their model ranges.
Part of Ford’s strategy involves ploughing A$1.3bn into its factory in Cologne, Germany, to create a new electric vehicle manufacturing hub – with the first EVs rolling off the line by the end of 2023.
While it has yet to announce new models, Ford did confirm its first European-built, mass-produced and affordable EV will be produced there.
According to CAR UK, that vehicle will be a Volkswagen MEB-based product, as a result of the company’s strategic alliance with Volkswagen, with a second following shortly afterwards.