Ford has begun the redesign of its factory site in Cologne-Niehl, with plans for it to produce its first electric model in 2023.
The new ‘Electrification Center’ is to be built on the site and will be where the first electric model produced in Europe by Ford will come from.
The process of upgrading the site began with the demolition of a former warehouse to make room for a new high-tech building which will be built specially for the pre-treatment of body shells.
Demolition was scheduled during a plant holiday so that it did not disrupt logistics during ongoing production. According to the manufacturer, more than 5,000 cubic metres of rubble will have to be removed in the course of the work.
Ford says the building will be 26 metres high, 25 metres wide and 100 metres long, and the carmaker says it wants to start installing the facility there as early as next year.
The company is investing around $1 billion into the plant for the manufacturing of electric vehicles, a move which follows the announcement that the electric car produced in Cologne will be based on Volkswagen’s modular electric drive system (MEB).
Ford and Volkswagen both signed contracts in February this year for their global alliance in the fields of electrification, light commercial vehicles and autonomous driving in June 2020, paving the way for a Ford battery-electric car based on MEB.