Ford goes ‘all-in’ on electric in Europe

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Tobias Arhelger/Adobe Stock

After General Motors announced a series of electric vehicle and emissions targets last month, it is unsurprising that similar announcement from competitors have followed.

Today, Ford Motor Co. announced plans to charge ahead with its electrification plans in Europe.

Earlier this month, Ford announced it would invest an additional $29 billion in electric and autonomous vehicle development.

“The transformation of Ford is happening and so is our leadership of the EV revolution and development of autonomous driving,” Ford President and CEO Jim Farley said in a release Feb. 4.

In January, General Motors said it would invest nearly $800 million to upgrade its CAMI Assembly in Canada for the manufacture of EVs. Furthermore, GM said it would offer 30 all-electric models by mid-decade.

Ford ramps up electrification in Europe

Ford said it plans for 100 percent of its passenger vehicle range in Europe to be zero-emissions capable, all-electric or plug-in hybrid by 2026.

Furthermore, it plans to be completely all-electric by 2030.

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Manufacturing investment

The automaker plans to invest $1 billion to update its manufacturing facility in Cologne, Germany.

“The investment will transform the existing vehicle assembly operations into the Ford Cologne Electrification Center for the manufacture of electric vehicles, Ford’s first such facility in Europe,” Ford said today.

The Cologne facility has been Ford of Europe’s home for 90 years. Ford of Europe employs approximately 43,000 people in Europe.

In addition, Ford said the Cologne facility will manufacture the automaker’s first “European-built, volume all-electric passenger vehicle” for European customers.

Metals demand

As we noted in this month’s Automotive MMI, the shift — albeit a slow one — to EVs will spur metals demand.

Lithium, nickel, cobalt will all be needed for the manufacture of electric vehicle batteries.

The shift to EVs will also prove supportive of copper demand, too. Electrical vehicles use significantly more copper than internal combustion engine models.

According to the Copper Development Association, conventional cars use 18-49 pounds of copper, while battery electric vehicles use 183 pounds. Furthermore, battery electric buses use 814 pounds of copper.

Strong Q4 in Europe

The automaker recently reported its financial results for the fourth quarter of 2020, when it posted EBIT of $414 million. Furthermore, Ford said the total marked its highest quarterly profit in Europe in more than four years.

“All three business focus areas – commercial, passenger and import – were profitable in the fourth quarter,” Ford said. “Ford bolstered the No. 1 position of its Transit commercial vans, with net pricing and share both up.”

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