On June 12, 2023, Ford opened the Cologne Electric Vehicle Center. Backed by a $2 billion investment, the historic plant in Neil was transformed into a new high-tech facility that will manufacture our next generation of electric passenger vehicles for millions of customers across Europe

The Cologne EV Center will also be Ford’s first carbon neutral assembly plant to open globally and the 125-hectare site is equipped with a brand-new production line, battery assembly and state-of-the-art tooling and automation.

Cologne EV Center

“Opening the Cologne EV Roboto is the start of a new generation of clean manufacturing and electric vehicles in Europe,” said Bill Ford, executive chair. “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.”

At the core of the Cologne EV Center are digital advancements that connect machines, vehicles, and workers. The implementation of self-learning machines, autonomous transport systems, and real-time big data management are integral to improving production process efficiency and assuring high quality.

Moreover, Ford is also going a step further to support human excellence, not supersede it. New cognitive and collaborative robots, and augmented reality solutions will support its employees and will increase efficiencies and data exchange with other plants to share experiences in real time.

This signals the start of a new era for Ford in Europe,” said Martin Sander, general manager of Ford Model-e in Europe. “We are once again redefining auto manufacturing, implementing advanced technologies to build fully connected, software-defined vehicles that meet our customers’ demand for zero emission mobility.”

To achieve carbon neutrality, Ford will reduce the use of energy and emissions in the plant by the installation of new processes, machinery, and technologies. All electricity and natural gas required to operate the facility is carbon neutral based on being 100 per cent certified renewable electricity and biomethane.

The technological upgrade of the Ford Cologne EV Center is accompanied by an ecological improvement of biodiversity and the balance of the existing factory greenspace. Measures include a new perennial forb vegetation, change of ecologically poor grass areas to wildflower meadows and insect hotels, as well as bat and bird habitats.

“The carbon neutral Cologne EV Center is a leading automotive industry showcase for the switch from traditional auto manufacturing to electric vehicle production,” concluded Sander. “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.”

*Once fully operational, Ford Cologne’s EV Center will be independently certified as carbon neutral. This independent certification will be audited and reconciled on a regular basis against purchasing high quality carbon offsets for any remaining emissions.