Ford Starts Mass Production of All-Electric Explorer in Cologne

Ford announced that it had commenced the mass production of its new all-electric Explorer at the newly established Ford Cologne Electric Vehicle Center, marking a significant milestone in the company’s journey towards electrification. The production launch results from a $2B investment in transforming a historic plant into a high-tech EV production facility.

The Cologne Electric Vehicle Center

The all-electric Ford Explorer is the first vehicle to roll off the line at the Cologne Electric Vehicle Center. It combines German engineering with American design and is equipped with battery electric powertrains to offer zero tailpipe emissions and a driving range of over 600 km on a single charge. A second EV, a new sports crossover, will also be produced at the Cologne facility later this year.

Founded by Ford in 1930, the Cologne plant has been transformed into a modern EV production hub equipped with advanced AI technologies and over 600 robots that perform tasks such as welding, cutting, dusting, painting, and fusing with precision and efficiency. The plant’s “digital twin” monitors and supports production line operators to maintain high-quality standards.

Rene Wolf, managing director of Manufacturing at Ford-Werke GmbH, highlighted the benefits of the new technology, stating, “By monitoring and controlling every step of the manufacturing process, Ford will achieve unprecedented levels of quality for our customers.” The factory’s control center oversees the entire assembly process in real-time, ensuring optimal operation and maintenance of high standards.

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All-Electric Ford Explorer

Broader implications for Europe and beyond

According to Ford, the plant uses 100 percent certified renewable electricity and biomethane, further contributing to Ford’s sustainability goals. With production underway, greenhouse gas emissions data will be monitored and recorded for independent certification according to the latest international standards.

In addition to its EV initiatives, last April, Ford announced that it would concentrate efforts on offering hybrid powertrains across its entire lineup by the decade’s end in the US. The company stated, “By the end of the decade, the company expects to offer hybrid powertrains across its entire Ford Blue lineup in North America.” This dual focus on both fully electric and hybrid powertrains highlights Ford’s comprehensive approach to reducing emissions and offering sustainable mobility solutions across different markets.

Ford’s investment and the subsequent production of the all-electric Explorer reinforce Europe’s role as a crucial hub in the global automotive industry. The production facility in Cologne highlights the region’s capability to support large-scale, high-tech manufacturing. This strengthens the European automotive supply chain, fostering collaboration and growth among suppliers, manufacturers, and technology providers.

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