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Ford Cologne Electric Vehicle Center Opens, Will Be Carbon Neutral

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Ford Cologne Electric Vehicle Center Production Line
Ford opened its Cologne Electric Vehicle Center in June
Photo: Ford

Ford took another significant step toward an all-electric future this month with the grand opening of the Cologne Electric Vehicle Center. The production facility in Germany will be the primary production hub for Ford EVs in Europe, operating at a maximum capacity of more than 250,000 vehicles per year at full strength.

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The Cologne EV Center is the result of a $2 billion investment to transform Ford’s plant in Niehl, Cologne. That investment provides the facility with cutting-edge tools and equipment, including collaborative robots and augmented reality. These technologies will allow the plant to maximize production efficiency and bolster Ford’s portfolio both in Europe and abroad.

The Cologne plant has been integral to Ford’s presence in Europe since 1930 and has produced key vehicles including the Model A, Capri, and Fiesta. To date, the plant has produced more than 18 million cars and been one of the automaker’s most eco-friendly production facilities.

Ford Cologne EV Center to build electric Explorer

2023 Ford Explorer electric Europe
Ford revealed the two-row electric Explorer in March
Photo: Ford

This makes Ford Cologne’s second life as the Cologne EV Center all the more fitting. The facility will produce the all-electric Explorer for Europe, followed by a sports crossover. Ford revealed its electric Explorer earlier this spring as a two-row, five-seat crossover. Ford first teased an electric Explorer two years ago.

 And true to its legacy for efficiency, the plant will be Ford’s first on the planet to achieve carbon neutrality when fully operational. Ford plans to go fully carbon-neutral across its operations by 2035.

“The Cologne EV Center signals the start of a new era for Ford in Europe,” said Ford Model e Europe General Manager Martin Sander. “We are once again redefining auto manufacturing, implementing advanced technologies to build fully connected, software-defined vehicles that meet our customers’ demand for zero-emission mobility.”

Ford is also well underway with transforming facilities in the United States. The Rouge Electric Vehicle Center in Dearborn produces the hot-selling F-150 Lightning and is set to increase production capacity by the fall, and the next-generation Ford electric truck — dubbed Project T3 — will be built at BlueOval City in Stanton, Tennessee. Construction is also underway at Ford’s new BlueOval SK Battery Park in Kentucky and announced plans for its BlueOval Battery Park Michigan earlier this year.