Cologne, Germany – Automotive giant Ford has announced the opening of its first-ever carbon neutral vehicle assembly plant in Cologne, Germany, following a $2 billion investment to transform the facility to build the company’s next generation of electric vehicles.
The project, which transformed Ford’s plant in Niehl, Cologne, equipped the 125-hectare site with a new production line, battery assembly and state-of-the-art tooling and automation, and an annual production capacity of more than 250,000 EVs.
Bill Ford, Executive Chair, Ford, said, “Opening the Cologne EV Center is the start of a new generation of clean manufacturing and electric vehicles in Europe. This facility will now be one of the most efficient and environmentally responsible plants in the entire industry. I am thrilled to continue working toward a zero emissions future for our children and grandchildren.”
The company outlined several key features of the transformed facility enabling the achievement of carbon neutrality. These include operating on 100% certified renewable electricity and biomethane, with an external power plant and waste incineration plant generating carbon neutral heat through a dedicated steam network.
Heat to warm the facility will be generated by an external power plant and waste incineration plant and provided through a dedicated steam network to Ford, with the local energy provider offsetting the corresponding emissions, with the provider also planning to reduce emissions by 60% in 2026 and 100% by 2035.
The opening of the new carbon neutral facility and establishment of additional EV follows the launch by Ford in 2021 of a series of sustainability goals, including 2035 commitments to reduce Scope 1 and 2 emissions from operations 76% from 2017, and Scope 3 GHGs from use of the company’s products by 50%, adding to the company’s existing goals to reach carbon neutrality by 2050, and to use 100% locally sourced renewable energy for all its manufacturing plants globally by 2035. Ford has also committed to achieve carbon neutrality across its European footprint of facilities, logistics and direct suppliers by 2035.
Martin Sander, General Manager, Ford Model e Europe, said, “The carbon neutral Cologne EV Center is a leading automotive industry showcase for the switch from traditional auto manufacturing to electric vehicle production. The facilities and processes have been designed by our engineers to maximise efficiency and minimise environmental impact, helping Ford become carbon neutral in Europe and supporting our global decarbonisation plan.”