When Jaguar announced that it would transition to a fully electric brand by 2025, the entire automotive world took notice. Sure, Jaguar is a small brand with a small lineup, so going fully electric isn’t as hard. But still, making that massive leap in just four years is hugely ambitious. Some automakers are likely laughing in their lederhosen at the prospect of any brand making such a drastic and sudden switch, while others have become inspired. It seems as if Ford is in the latter group.
According to Ford of Europe president Stuart Rowley, all European Ford models will be fully electric by 2030. That’s five years later than Jaguar but Ford also has a lineup of vehicles about ten times the size of Jag’s. Rowley claims the sudden decision to make the switch is an attempt to “modernize the model range and a way to disrupt ourselves.”
What’s most impressive about Ford’s plan is that it includes commercial vehicles as well. Ford sells zillions of commercial vans and trucks in Europe, vehicles that typically rely on diesel power. However, Ford is not only including commercial vehicles in this plan but actually intends to make all commercial vehicles zero-emissions by 2024, meaning they’ll only be powered by pure BEV (Battery Electric Vehicle) or plug-in hybrid (PHEV) powertrains. Taking it a step further, the entire Ford lineup will be zero-emissions by 2026.
This plan is said to cost Ford $22 billion by 2025, with the first major investment coming to the Cologne, Germany plant, which will receive $1 billion to become an EV manufacturing hub. Though, admittedly, Ford will have a bit of help, as it plans to use Volkswagen’s MEB all-electric architecture for the first one or two EVs produced in Cologne.
Most German automakers have not only been quiet in regards to a plan for full electrification anytime soon but some of them have outright scoffed at the idea. BMW is actually heavily investing in an architecture that’s specifically designed to house both EVs and internal combustion, seemingly hedging its bets and continuing to back internal combustion. With Jaguar and now Ford making bold claims about the future of electrification, it’s interesting to see if any German brands will change their tune to keep up with their competition.
We also don’t know which plan is right. We can’t see into the future and recognize which method will prove more successful. However, it’s clear that there are some brands boldly making the jump and others that are being more cautious. BMW, Audi and Mercedes-Benz all have major plans for electrification but they’re all also continuing their investments in internal combustion. We will see if that fence-sitting approach works soon enough.
[Source: Car Magazine]