Ford starts mass-producing all-electric Explorer at EV factory in Germany

Green Forum
Ford has started mass production of the new all-electric Ford Explorer at its first dedicated electric vehicle (EV) facility in Europe.

The electric Ford Explorer is the first vehicle to roll off the line at the Ford Cologne Electric Vehicle Center, marking a significant step in producing a new generation of high-quality electric passenger vehicles for the region. A second EV, a new sports crossover, will be revealed soon, with production in Cologne starting later this year.

The new all-electric Explorer blends German engineering with American attitude, offering a superior standard specification that includes battery electric powertrains for zero tailpipe emissions and a driving range of over 600 km on a single charge.

“To see the Cologne factory, founded by Ford in 1930, transformed into a state-of-the-art electric vehicle production facility is nothing short of amazing. The start of mass production of electric vehicles, with the new all-electric Explorer, marks the beginning of a new era for Ford in Europe,” said Kieran Cahill, vice president of Manufacturing, Ford in Europe and International Markets Group.

The Cologne Electric Vehicle Center is equipped with cutting-edge AI and hundreds of carefully choreographed state-of-the-art robots, delivering a new generation of high-quality EVs to Ford customers in Europe. The plant's "digital twin" monitors and supports production line operators to ensure high-quality standards.

Supported by self-learning machines and over 600 new robots performing welding, cutting, dusting, painting, and fusing tasks, the plant operates with precision, efficiency, and quality. A new control center monitors the entire assembly process in real-time, tracking the quantity of every part and nut at each workstation. The plant's "digital twin" is displayed on a giant touchscreen, detailing all workstations with information on tooling, material delivery, work safety, and more. Employees on the line use small touchscreens to provide further information on the status of their workstations.

“By monitoring and controlling every step of the manufacturing process, Ford will achieve unprecedented levels of quality for our customers,” said Rene Wolf, managing director of Manufacturing, Ford-Werke GmbH.

The Cologne Electric Vehicle Center is one of Ford's most efficient vehicle assembly plants globally, with significant reductions in emissions, water usage, and energy consumption. Ford is working towards implementing a carbon neutrality pathway for the Cologne Electric Vehicle Center. With production now underway, greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions data will be monitored and recorded for independent certification according to the latest international standards. Ford will continuously improve carbon efficiency and reduce GHG emissions toward a residual level.

In addition to initiatives that reduce emissions, water usage, and energy consumption, all electricity and natural gas required to operate the plant are 100 percent certified renewable electricity and biomethane. Ford Motor Company is targeting carbon neutrality across its European production footprint of facilities, logistics, and direct suppliers by 2035.

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Green Forum  |  20 June, 2024 at 8:04 AM