US car giant heralds production of e-Transit as pivotal moment in its drive to electrify its European sales

Ford is celebrating the start of commercial production of its all-electric e-Transit van in Turkey, heralding the achievement as a landmark moment in the US carmaker’s electrification strategy.

The carmaker announced this morning that the Ford e-Transit was now ready to ship to businesses around Europe, noting that it already had a backlog of 5,000 orders for the all-electric version of the world’s best-selling cargo van.

The Otasan factory in Kocaeli, northwestern, Turkey is set to become the hub for production of the EV in Europe, according to the update from the carmaker.

“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,” said Hans Schep, general manager, Ford Pro Europe. “This is the first step in a transformation of the Kocaeli site which will see it become a major centre for electric commercial vehicle manufacturing in Europe.”

Ford has pledged to only sell zero emission vehicles in Europe by 2035 and achieve carbon neutrality across its European footprint of facilities, logistics, and suppliers by the same date.

The carmaker is planning to produce four new full-electric commercial vehicles in Europe by 2024, as part of its plans to sell more than 600,000 EVs on the continent by 2026.

Güven Özyurt, general manager of the Ford Otosan factory, said the Turkish plant was destined to become the manufacturing site of Ford’s future zero emission vehicle models.

“Production of e-Transit in our Kocaeli plant, where the electricity is supplied with 100 per cent renewable energy, is a source of pride for us and another turning point in our increasing role in Ford’s electrification strategy” said Güven Özyurt, general manager of Ford Otosan. “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 Otasan has pledged to invest €2bn in the facility over the coming years as it works to ramp up capacity in line with growing demand for future electrified Ford models. It has also pledge to add roughly 3,000 jobs at the factory over the coming years.

The news comes just a week after a report from think tank Transport & Environment warned that limited production of e-vans in Europe was significantly lagging demand from businesses seeking to decarbonise their operations.

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