Ford's Big European Announcement Has Consequences For America

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That's not necessarily a bad thing.

The trend of automakers pursuing an emissions-free future continues. A few days ago, Jaguar made this announcement and GM did so late last month. But what about GM's crosstown rival, Ford? For now, the Dearborn-based automaker has yet to make a similar commitment, at least for the US. However today, the Blue Oval has officially announced its European operations will produce and sell combustion engine-free vehicles from 2030.

By mid-2026, all passenger vehicles will be zero-emissions capable with either all-electric or plug-in hybrid powertrains. Four years later, it'll no longer sell ICE passenger cars. The entire commercial vehicle lineup will offer battery-electric and PHEV options alongside ICEs by 2024, and Ford expects at least two-thirds of those sales to be all-electric or PHEV by 2030. No matter what, Ford will not sell any ICE passenger vehicles nine years from now in Europe.

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The changeover to battery-electric commercial vehicles will likely take a bit more time but it'll happen eventually. Ford has already begun making the commercial vehicle electrification transition with the E-Transit. This announcement comes after Ford returned to profit in Europe in the fourth quarter of 2020. As previously reported, it intends to invest $22 billion globally in electrification through 2025. Kicking things off in Europe is a $1 billion investment in electric vehicle production at its Cologne, Germany manufacturing center, which is now called the "Ford Cologne Electrification Center."

The first fully electric passenger vehicle will roll off that assembly line in 2023, though we doubt it'll be the Ford Mustang Mach-E; an all-electric successor to the Fiesta is more likely. There are already plans to build a second EV there as well.

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Car Designs That Have Aged Terribly
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"We successfully restructured Ford of Europe and returned to profitability in the fourth quarter of 2020. Now we are charging into an all-electric future in Europe with expressive new vehicles and a world-class connected customer experience," said Stuart Rowley, president, Ford of Europe.

Although they're no longer sold in the US, this announcement begs another question: will the Fiesta and Focus, including the Focus ST, continue as pure EVs? Or, will Ford replace both nameplates with something new? More importantly, when will Ford announce an EV-only future in North America? It'll probably isn't too far off.

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