Ford taps VW tech for $1bn Cologne R&D centre

February 18, 2021 // By Christoph Hammerschmidt
Ford invests $1 billion in German e-car plant
Ford is to build a $1bn electric car R&D centre in Cologne, Germany, using a technical platform from Volkswagen.

The construction of the Cologne Electrification Center is the largest investment the company has ever made in Cologne, says Ford. This is part of a $22bn global boost for the development and industrialisation of electric drive technology.

One of the focal points for Ford's model policy is the European market. Here, Ford wants to offer only electrified vehicles from 2026 - but this does not mean an end to the production of cars with conventional drives, because hybrids have both types of drive on board. From 2030, however, plug-in hybrids will also be phased out, and only purely electrically powered cars will roll off the assembly lines.

The technical development of the new electric model will also take place in Cologne. Within the framework of the existing strategic alliance with Volkswagen, Ford will base the development of the vehicle on the Modular Electric Building Kit (MEB). On this platform, Ford intends to deliver fully electric vehicles for its customers throughout Europe. Over the entire life cycle, production of a total of around 600,000 units is planned. Nothing is known yet about the exact concept and appearance of these vehicles either, but it is likely that Ford will not enter into direct competition with Volkswagen's ID.3 and ID.4 e-cars with these cars.

Ford's production facilities in Cologne currently build the Fiesta and this is not expected to change as the electric model will be produced in parallel with the Fiesta. Possibly, Ford will develop and produce a second electrically powered vehicle family in Cologne in the medium future.

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