Ford (F) - Get Report, the 118-year-old automaker that produced the first assembly-line combustion-engine car, has pledged to make its European operations almost entirely electric by the end of the decade.
Detroit-based Ford announced Wednesday that it plans to invest $1 billion into a German plant that will start making an all-electric model in two years. By mid-2026, all passenger cars Ford sells in Europe will be plug-in hybrids or fully electric.
Revealing that it returned to profitability in Europe in the fourth quarter, Ford said it was investing at least $22 billion globally in electrification through 2025, nearly twice the company’s previous EV investment plans.
"We successfully restructured Ford of Europe and returned to profitability in the fourth quarter of 2020," Ford Europe President Stuart Rowley said in a statement. "Now we are charging into an all-electric future in Europe.”
By 2030, Ford’s passenger-vehicle range will be completely all-electric, save for its smaller but strategically important commercial-vehicle business, which will continue to sell some gasoline-powered vans and trucks.
Ford’s investment in Cologne, Germany, will modernize its 90-year-old plant, one of the largest manufacturing complexes in Europe. The facility currently produces the Ford Fiesta. It will continue production of that model in parallel with a new EV.
Carmakers for the first time sold more fully electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles in Europe last year than in China, thanks to stricter emissions standards and EV-related subsidies.
Ford shares were up 0.38% at $11.59 in trading Wednesday. The stock has gained 31% this year.