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Powering Up the Future: Ford Bids Farewell to an Icon for an Electric Transformation

As electric vehicles (EVs) increasingly rev up on the global market stage, many traditional automakers are navigating a challenging but necessary shift. Among them, the renowned Michigan-based automaker, Ford, has been making significant moves to pivot from its legacy internal combustion engine (ICE) models to EVs.

Ford’s F-Series ICE pickup truck, a veritable titan of American roads, has held the title of the nation’s top-selling vehicle for 41 years, and the best-selling truck for 46 years straight. Nevertheless, Ford’s electric version of this iconic model, the F-150 Lightning, hasn’t claimed the electric pickup throne. The EV pickup market is experiencing fierce competition, with players like Rivian, General Motors, and soon-to-be competitor Stellantis, lining up their electric beasts for consumers.

Of course, the EV juggernaut Tesla is also poised to make a grand entrance into the EV truck scene. Elon Musk, the company’s CEO, recently teased that the much-anticipated Cybertruck is set for a late third-quarter delivery, expected around September.

Despite these competitive headwinds, Ford shows no sign of backing down. After temporarily losing its position as the second-best seller of EVs in the US to GM in 2023’s first quarter, Ford has geared up for a powerful comeback. The company’s newest EV project, an all-electric Explorer SUV, is set to roll off the production line in its newly converted Cologne Electric Vehicle Center in Germany. And it’s not just Europe that might see this new EV; Ford’s CEO, Jim Farley, hinted that the US could be part of the Explorer’s future journey as well.

Ford: Exploring New Electric Horizons

Ford’s Cologne facility is not just any factory; it’s the company’s first-ever carbon-neutral plant. With a hefty $2 billion investment, this plant is poised to kickstart the production of Ford’s Explorer SUV, the first mass-produced all-electric passenger car built in Europe.

The new SUV is one of the nine all-electric vehicles Ford plans to launch in Europe by 2024. With a starting price of approximately $49,150, the vehicle is a major step towards the company’s ambitious goal of selling 600,000 EVs annually in Europe by 2026 under its Model E division.

But the Cologne factory isn’t the only place where Ford’s electric dreams are becoming a reality. By 2024, the automaker plans to start producing a sport crossover EV in Cologne and small electric vans, the Puma EV, E-Transit Courier, and E-Tourneo Courier, in Romania.

Ford’s Fiesta: An End of an Era

As Ford accelerates towards its electric future, some beloved classics must take a step back. Among them, is the Ford Fiesta, an icon that first hit the roads in Europe in 1976 and the US in 1978.

Despite being discontinued in the US twice due to dwindling sales, the Fiesta continued to enjoy success in Europe. However, with the Cologne plant’s conversion to an all-electric production facility, the last ICE Ford Fiesta is set to roll off the assembly line on July 7th, marking an end to an era and the beginning of a new electric chapter for Ford.

As the EV market landscape becomes more crowded, Ford’s shift in strategy illustrates a promising and transformative direction for the traditional automaker. As it retires its old guard and ushers in a new era of electric mobility, Ford demonstrates that it’s ready to drive into the future head-on.