Automobile

Ford open to speeding up EV shift in Europe

Ford Motor Co. could make the move to all-electric for its passenger vehicles in Europe sooner than 2030.

“It’s quite possible that we move faster,” Ford of Europe CEO Stuart Rowley said.

The automaker said in February it would drop cars and SUVs with gasoline and diesel engines from its lineup in Europe by 2030, but demand for EVs across Europe has been stronger than expected, Rowley told the online Financial Times conference on Thursday.

“Every time we look at the data we accelerate our projection,” he said.

Electric cars accounted for 6.6 percent of overall first-quarter sales in the Europe, figures from industry association ACEA show.

EV sales are expected to top 1 million in the region this year for the first time as incentives push more people to switch to a battery-driven powertrain, analyst company LMC Automotive predicts.

Ford is currently rolling out its first dedicated electric car, the Mustang Mach-E, in Europe and will add a second electric model in 2023 based on Volkswagen Group’s MEB platform.

Ford is considering a second MEB-based model and is reportedly nearing a decision.

Ford has said all its passenger vehicles sold in Europe will have battery or plug-in hybrid drivetrains by mid-2026.

Whether Ford goes all-electric before 2030 will depend on its model lineup, Rowley said.

“There will be segments that won’t be fully electric [by 2030] but maybe we won’t be participating in those segments,” he told the FT conference.

Ford is moving out of its traditional segments to focus more on crossovers and SUVs, and earlier this year announced it would end production of the Mondeo midsize family by 2022.
 
“We are going to have a more targeted portfolio of highly differentiated passenger vehicles,” Rowley told Automotive News Europe in an interview in February.

Rowley dodged a question from a Financial Times reporter about how it would electrify its Fiesta small car range.

The midsize segment had the highest share of electric vehicles in the first quarter in Europe at 17 percent, thanks mainly to the success of the Tesla Model 3, Europe’s No. 1-selling EV through the three months, according to data from JATO Dynamics.

Minicars had the next largest EV share at 16 percent. SUVs were the biggest-selling electric body style overall.

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