Ford officially opened the doors of its updated Cologne electric vehicle (EV) center, which is expected to produce the legacy automaker’s electric Explorer SUV.
Ford invested $2 billion to transform the Cologne plant, founded in 1930, into an electric vehicle center. The assembly plant will cater to European customers. It has an annual production capacity of 250,000 electric vehicles. The legacy automaker hopes to increase the Cologne plant’s production capacity to 2 million by 2026.
The Ford Cologne EV center is located in Germany on a 125-hectare site. The facility has a brand-new production line and a battery assembly line with state-of-the-art tooling and automation. Ford’s Cologne site is also the U.S. automaker’s first global carbon-neutral assembly plant. The legacy carmaker is committed to reaching carbon neutrality across all of Europe.
“Opening the Cologne EV Center is the start of a new generation of clean manufacturing and electric vehicles in Europe,” said Bill Ford, Executive Chair. “This facility will now be one of the most efficient and environmentally responsible plants in the entire industry. I am thrilled to continue working toward a zero emissions future for our children and grandchildren.”
Ford’s Cologne EV Center will kick off production with the all-electric Explorer. The Ford Explorer EV was unveiled earlier this year. The all-electric SUV will use Volkswagen’s MEB platform. Ford’s upcoming EV pays homage to the traditional Explorer but is significantly smaller. The Ford Explorer SUV is expected to have a max range of 500 km (310 miles). The legacy automaker expects the new EV to charge from 10% to 80% in just 25 minutes.
“Explorer is a trailblazer for a new breed of exciting Ford electric vehicles. Steeped in our American roots but built in Cologne for our customers in Europe, it is road trip-ready for the big adventures and fully loaded with everything our customers will need for their daily drives,” said Martin Sander, general manager of Ford Model e, Europe.