Ford opens Cologne EV center to make next-gen EVs for European markets
Ford Motor Company has transformed its historic plant in Niehl, Cologne founded in 1930 into a hi-tech production facility for manufacturing next-generation electric passenger vehicles meant for European markets.
The automaker has invested about $2 billion on the 125-hectare site in Germany to install a brand-new production line, battery assembly and state-of-the-art tooling and automation setup that can support the roll-out of 250,000+ EVs annually.
The Cologne plant will produce the recently unveiled Explorer electric, along with an upcoming electric sports crossover, notes the company.
The Cologne EV Center will be Ford's first carbon neutral assembly plant to open globally, thereby supporting the company's commitment to reach carbon neutrality across its entire European footprint of facilities, logistics and direct suppliers by 2035.
"Opening the Cologne EV Center is the start of a new generation of clean manufacturing and electric vehicles in Europe," said Bill Ford, Executive Chair. "This facility will now be one of the most efficient and environmentally responsible plants in the entire industry. I am thrilled to continue working toward a zero emissions future for our children and grandchildren."
"The Cologne EV Center signals the start of a new era for Ford in Europe," said Martin Sander, general manager of Ford Model e Europe. "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."
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At the core of the Cologne EV Center are digital advancements that connect machines, vehicles and workers. Implementing self-learning machines, autonomous transport systems and big data management in real time are integral to improve the efficiency of the production processes and get better over time, assuring high quality, claims Ford.
Further, new cognitive and collaborative robots, and augmented reality solutions will support its employees to increase efficiencies and data exchange with other plants to share experiences in real time, the company adds.