Ford has initiated mass production of the new all-electric Ford Explorer at its inaugural dedicated electric vehicle (EV) facility in Europe, following a substantial $2 billion investment that has metamorphosed a historic plant into a factory of the future.

The electric Ford Explorer marks the inaugural vehicle to roll off the assembly line at the Ford Cologne Electric Vehicle Center, representing a significant stride towards manufacturing a new generation of premium electric passenger vehicles for the region. Subsequently, a second EV, a new sports crossover, is slated for unveiling shortly, with production commencing in Cologne later this year.

The new all-electric Explorer amalgamates German engineering, American spirit, and top-tier standard specifications, including battery electric powertrains for zero-tailpipe emissions while driving, coupled with a remarkable driving range of over 600 km on a single charge.

Kieran Cahill, Vice President of Manufacturing at Ford in Europe and International Markets Group, expressed enthusiasm, stating, “To witness the transformation of the Cologne factory, established by Ford in 1930, into a state-of-the-art electric vehicle production facility is truly remarkable. The commencement of mass production of electric vehicles, commencing with the new all-electric Explorer, heralds the dawn of a new era for Ford in Europe.”

The Factory of the Future
The Cologne Electric Vehicle Center is outfitted with cutting-edge AI and an ensemble of hundreds of meticulously coordinated state-of-the-art robots, poised to deliver a new breed of high-quality EVs to Ford customers in Europe. The plant’s “digital twin” monitors and aids production line operators in upholding high-quality standards.

Supported by self-learning machines and over 600 new robots, the Cologne Electric Vehicle Center orchestrates welding, cutting, dusting, painting, and fusing tasks with precision, efficiency, and quality. A new control center oversees the entire assembly process in real-time, monitoring every aspect from parts quantity to workstation status.

Rene Wolf, Managing Director of Manufacturing at Ford-Werke GmbH, emphasized the unparalleled levels of quality achieved through meticulous monitoring and control of the manufacturing process.

Commitment to Sustainability
The Cologne Electric Vehicle Center exemplifies Ford’s commitment to sustainability, boasting significant reductions in emissions, water usage, and energy consumption. Ford is striving towards implementing a carbon neutrality pathway for the facility, continuously improving carbon efficiency and reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

Furthermore, the plant operates solely on 100% certified renewable electricity and biomethane, contributing to Ford Motor Company’s overarching goal of achieving carbon neutrality across its European production footprint, including facilities, logistics, and direct suppliers by 2035.

Source: Ford
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