Ford said its Kansas City Assembly Plant will build the new E-Transit van, as part of a US$3.2bn investment in North American factories to produce a series of new electric vehicles.
The new electric Transit will join the F-150 large pickup truck EV announced in September and the Mustang Mach-E, which begins arriving in US dealer showrooms next month. The F-150, which will be assembled at the new Rouge Electric Vehicle Center in Dearborn, Michigan, arrives in mid-2022, following the E-Transit in late 2021.
Electric vehicles are a key part of Ford’s commitment meet the requirements of the Paris Accord and achieve carbon neutrality globally by 2050.
The automaker Ford is spending an additional $100m at Kansas City and adding 150 full-time permanent jobs to build the E-Transit, a variant of what it claims is America’s best selling commercial van.
The electric van investment in Kansas City is in addition to the $300m spent the launch this year of the redesigned F-150 at that plant which employs 7,500.
The E-Transit is part of Ford’s $11.5bn global investment in electrification through 2022.
“Ford’s strategy is different – we are delivering affordable, capable electric vehicles in the heart of the retail and commercial market rather than six figure status vehicles,” the automaker said.
Ford is also spending $150m at Van Dyke Transmission Plant in south east Michigan to build e-motors and e-transaxles beginning in 2021.This will retain 225 jobs at the plant.
Given strong early interest in the electric F-150 since its September announcement, Ford is now increasing production by half versus original plans. It now will add 200 jobs in addition to the 300 jobs previously announced for the new model.
Ford spends more than $5bn annually on engineering in America.
In addition to electric vehicle manufacturing sites for trucks and vans in the US, the company also is spending C$1.8bn (US$1.35bn) to transform its Oakville Assembly Complex in Ontario starting in 2024 to include battery electric vehicles. This will be the first time an automaker has produced full BEVs in Canada for North America.
Ford also is planning to produce an additional electrified vehicle at its plant in Cuautitlan, Mexico, where the Mustang Mach-E is produced. The new vehicle will share a similar electrified platform as the Mustang Mach-E, delivering manufacturing and engineering efficiencies.
“Our electric vehicle business is a dynamic source of growth,” said John Savona, VP, North American manufacturing. “We’re setting ourselves up for profitable business now and in the future.”