Ford is ramping up its electric vehicle development with its inclusion in the colognE-mobil project being tested in the north west German city.

The US automaker has secured 43% funding from the German state and the government of North-Rhine Westphalia for the project, which seeks to increase e-mobility solutions for German cities.

Initial testing will see Ford put the emphasis on commercial vehicle application of pure electric powertrains and adds to the company’s participation in the UK government’s ‘Ultra-Low Carbon Vehicles’ initiative.

Initial testing will occur in the second quarter of this year as four converted Transit vans are currently under construction. Ten vehicles will be involved in the first phase.

“Cologne has been chosen as it is part of the German master plan in terms of electromobility,” a Ford Europe spokesman in Germany told just-auto.

“There are several projects and Cologne is a partner together with local energy provider RheinEnegie and the University of Duisburg-Essen.”

The first phase will also see UK-based Smith Electric Vehicles (SEV) install its pure battery-electric powertrains into the vans. Ford and SEV will build seven Transit panel, vans for delivery service companies, two for shuttle services and one chassis-cab to be used by Cologne’s public service department.

The city of Cologne will measure the e-mobility vehicles for their effects on local air quality and and noise targets, as well as traffic safety.

Ford will be responsible for the maintenance of the vehicles, while Duisberg-Essen University will use data to create simulations scaling up the Cologne experiment to apply to all North-Rhine Westphalia.