COLOGNE, Germany — Ford will reduce the Volkswagen Group’s reliance on EV technology as the US automaker transitions its European lineup to all-electric.
After launching two new all-electric EVs based on VW Group’s MEB electric-only architecture, Ford will use its own technology for future electric vehicles.
VW’s MEB platform is transitional technology for Ford, and its use has saved at least two years of development time, said Martin Sanders, Ford’s European e-car development manager. car news europe sister publication car week.
Ford is spending $2 billion to revamp its Cologne, Germany factory to build two MEB-based cars, but the long-running Fiesta hatchback production there is coming to an end.
By 2026, Ford plans to sell 600,000 electric vehicles a year in Europe.
The first MEB-based Ford EV was unveiled in March and is similar in size to the VW ID4 crossover. Ford describes its second EV as a “sport crossover.” Production will start in Cologne next year.
Ford also plans to revamp its factory in Valencia, Spain, starting later this decade to build software-defined EVs with a new electrical architecture. The plant currently produces the Kuga compact SUV and the Galaxy and S-Max large minivans.
The new electric EV to be built in Valencia will not use VW’s MEB architecture.
“We will have a purely electric platform in Valencia, but at the moment we are still open as to when this will happen and what models we will build there,” Sander said.
The Valencia EV will also use the automaker’s own software for advanced driver assistance features. Ford and VW closed their Argo AI self-driving car technology company last year.
Ford has said its European passenger car lineup will be fully electric by 2030, and expects two-thirds of its commercial van sales to be fully electric or plug-in hybrids by the same date.