You knew it was bound to happen soon.
Dearborn, Mich., automaker Ford (F) – Get Free Report has been busy converting its line of vehicles from internal combustion engine models to electric vehicles. The giant automaker’s F-Series internal combustion engine pickup truck has been America’s best selling vehicle for 41 years and the best selling truck for 46 straight years.
Ford’s F-150 Lightning EV, however, is not America’s best selling electric pickup, as Rivian (RIVN) – Get Free Report sold the most EV pickup trucks in 2022. General Motors (GM) – Get Free Report is ready to begin selling its new Chevy Silverado EV, which will offer both 450-mile range and 350 mile range models, in upcoming weeks. And Stellantis will enter the EV truck market with its all-electric 2025 Ram 1500 REV, its first battery electric light-duty pickup truck that will be built in the US, in the fourth quarter of 2024.
Everyone knows that Tesla is waiting in the wings to launch it’s entry into the electric truck sweepstakes, as CEO Elon Musk has said that his company’s first all-electric truck, the Cybertruck, will be delivered to consumers at the end of the third quarter, most likely late September.
Ford had been the No. 2 seller of EVs in the US with its three models, F-150, Mustang Mach-E and E-Transit electric van, but was overtaken by GM in the first quarter of 2023. However, Ford does not have plans to remain No. 3 very long, as the EV maker is getting ready to begin production of its new all-electric Explorer SUV after converting its Cologne, Germany, auto plant into its Cologne Electric Vehicle Center.
Ford Plans to Produce Explorer EV
The Cologne EV plant, which opened June 12, is Ford’s first carbon-neutral factory that will begin producing the Ford Explorer SUV later this year after a $2 billion investment, InsideEVs reported. The SUV will be Ford’s first volume all-electric passenger car built in Europe, one of nine all-electric vehicles Ford plans to introduce in the continent by 2024. The Explorer will have a starting price of about $49,150.
Ford will begin production of a sports crossover EV at the Cologne plant in mid-2024. It will also produce a Puma EV, E-Transit Courier and E-Tourneo Courier small electric vans in Romania beginning in 2024. This ramp-up of EV production is part of Ford’s goal to sell 600,000 EVs each year in Europe by 2026 in its Model e division.
Ford Retiring Popular Vehicle
With the beginning of its conversion to EVs, Ford will be saying goodbye to several ICE vehicles in Europe and the US in upcoming years. One iconic ICE vehicle, the Ford Fiesta, made its debut in Europe in 1976 and the US in 1978, only to be discontinued in the US in 1980. The vehicle returned to the US in 2011, but was discontinued again in 2017 after a 31% drop in sales in 2016, according to The Drive.
The Ford Fiesta, however, was a huge success in Europe and continued being sold since its introduction in 1976. But with the conversion of the Cologne plant to all-electric production, the last ICE Ford Fiesta will roll off the plant’s assembly line on July 7 and drive off into retirement.