Electric cars on the rise

While the American group Ford could build its European electric car in Cologne, Volkswagen wants to produce a certain e-model earlier.

Platform for electromobility: Robots work on an underbody assembly in the VW plant in Zwickau.

When the American car company Ford is launching an electric car in Europe in just over two years, it will definitely have a lot of expertise from the Ford location in Cologne. In the “John Andrews Development Center” in the Merkenich district of Cologne, technicians and engineers will design and develop the car – that much is certain. But now there are increasing indications that Ford could also produce this e-car in Cologne.

According to several media reports, the group wants to invest one billion euros in its plant in the Niehl district. The company didn’t want to comment on Friday. But the advantages of locating development and production in close proximity cannot be denied.

Especially since Ford is really entering the era of pure electric mobility with the European car and will bring it to the start with support. Ultimately, the vehicle will be built on the Volkswagen Group’s MEB electrical production platform, as both companies have agreed in an extensive cooperation agreement.

Product range is expanded faster

The MEB platform will not only be used at Ford. After the ID.3 and ID.4, the first all-electric models from the VW brand, Volkswagen will now expand its own product range based on the platform faster than originally planned, as company circles confirmed on Friday. The further tightened EU climate regulations, with which politicians want to enforce electric drives against combustion engines, mean that Volkswagen wants to accelerate the development of a small electric car that has been planned for some time.

The car with the project name “Small BEV” (Battery Electric Vehicle) is to be located below the compact ID.3, which was launched in September, and to be had for 20,000 to 25,000 euros, according to plans by the VW brand. A project group in Wolfsburg is currently working flat out on the model, one can hear in Wolfsburg. What the vehicle the size of a Polo will look like and when it will come onto the market has not yet been determined. The production location has also not yet been decided, according to Volkswagen. In the old plans, the VW factory in Emden, Lower Saxony, was brought up for discussion.

The purely battery-powered small car is intended to open up electromobility to larger sections of the population and thus provide a further boost in sales figures. According to the company, the ID.3, which VW launched on the European market in September, is selling well – but Volkswagen and other automakers urgently need a noticeable increase in sales of electric cars, which are in the wake of the so-called “Green Deal” of the To be able to adhere to the noticeable tightening of climate plans, which are looming in the EU, to avoid fines and to be able to secure jobs for the car industry in Europe.

Further vehicles are being planned

As the next step after the ID.3, the range of electric models at the VW brand will initially be expanded upwards. After the electric SUV ID.4, which, like the compact ID.3, is built at the VW plant in Zwickau, Saxony and is due to hit the market at the end of the year, the ID.5 is an electric mix of SUV and sedan. For Volkswagen, the ID.4 is the “world car” with which the company intends to establish itself as a manufacturer of electric cars in China and the United States. In both car markets, SUVs make up the majority of sales.

The fully electric Bulli successor ID-Buzz is to roll off the production line in Hanover from 2022. The larger ID.6 (Aero B) will follow in 2023, which is planned as a station wagon and sedan with a range of up to 700 kilometers. During the company’s most recent planning round, the VW plant in the capital of Lower Saxony was also awarded the contract for three large, fully electric SUVs that are to be produced there for the Audi, Porsche and Bentley brands.