Ford announced it has officially started shipping production units of its all-electric E-Transit van to customers across Europe, aligning with its goals to electrify its business globally.
The Detroit-based Ford, who recently separated its electric and combustion engine businesses into separate divisions, said the E-Transit vans built at its Otosan Factory in Kocaeli, Turkey, are making their way to European customers. Ford started delivering the E-Transit in the United States in February.
Ford says it received over 5,000 customer orders for the E-Transit in Europe alone before production began. The strong demand for the vehicles motivated Ford to reach “full mass production” of the E-Transit on the continent. Under its Ford Pro division, which handles commercial fleet management, the automaker continues to move forward with its transition to electric cars across the world.
“Ford Otosan’s Kocaeli plant is the heart of Transit production in Europe, and this celebration of E-Transit manufacturing starts the electrified next chapter in our already strong partnership,” Ford Pro’s General Manager of Europe, Hans Schep, said. “This is the first step in a transformation of the Kocaeli site, which will see it become a major center for electric commercial vehicle manufacturing in Europe.”
Ford already had a notable base established for the E-Transit, as the gas version of the car is the world’s best-selling cargo van. The electrified version of the van “spearheads the launch of Ford Pro in the region; this new business offers customers a comprehensive suite of software, charging, servicing, and financing solutions fully integrated into a portfolio of world-class gas and electric vehicles to help improve productivity and uptime, lower costs, and facilitate access to everything operators need on one platform built for the electric and digital age,” Ford said.
“Production of E-Transit in our Kocaeli plant, where the electricity is supplied with 100 percent renewable energy, is a source of pride for us and another turning point in our increasing role in Ford’s electrification strategy,” GM of Ford’s Otosan Plant, Güven Özyurt, said. “We believe that electrification of the legendary Transit model is a major development and an important step for making Ford Otosan the production base of Ford electrified commercial vehicles.”
FORD’S COMMERCIAL TRANSITION TO EVS
Ford’s Otosan Plant is receiving an additional €2 billion investment from the automaker to complement the rise in electrification. Ford plans to use the funds to help the plant supplement a massive hiring operation of 3,000 additional employees, who will help increase vehicle production capacity, including a next-gen Transit Custom model.
Recently announced partnerships with SK On Co., Ltd. and Koç Holding have Ford in a prime position to move all in on its electrified future in Europe. The three companies signed a non-binding Memorandum of Understanding that would bring one of the largest EV battery facilities in the European region. Production is intended to begin by mid-decade, and annual capacity is expected to be between 30 and 45 Gigawatt hours.
Additionally, Ford will launch four additional EV models to the Transit family by 2024.