We’ve known for some time now that an all-electric version of the Ford Transit was coming. Just a couple of weeks ago, Ford announced that its E-Transit would be revealed on November 12th. Now, FoMoCo has announced that the Ford E-Transit will be built at the Ford Kansas City Assembly Plant following a $100 million dollar investment, and it’ll be arriving even sooner than expected – by late 2021.
The Kansas City Assembly Plant expansion is part of a more than $3.2 billion investment in Ford’s North American manufacturing facilities to produce a series of new electric vehicles for commercial and retail customers.
The new E-Transit will join the all-electric F-150 announced in September and the all-electric Ford Mustang Mach-E, which is already being produced at the Ford Cuautitlan Plant in Mexico. The new entries support Ford’s plan to electrify its most popular vehicles, including its commercial vehicles. The all-electric Ford F-150, which will be assembled at the new Ford Rouge Electric Vehicle Center in Dearborn, arrives in mid-2022. The E-Transit arrives in late 2021.
Ford is building out its manufacturing footprint across North America – working with local and national governments – to lead the transition to electric vehicles and meet consumer demand in the coming years. Electric vehicles are a key part of Ford’s commitment to meet the requirements of the Paris Accord and achieve carbon neutrality globally by 2050.
“We’re taking our most iconic vehicles and using fully electric technology to deliver even more performance, productivity, and capability for customers,” said Kumar Galhotra, president, Americas and International Markets Group. “We are building out the North American manufacturing footprint to support this growth. This is just the first chapter with more new electric vehicles and more investment to come.”
Ford is investing an additional $100 million in its Kansas City plant and adding approximately 150 full-time permanent jobs to build the Ford E-Transit, a zero-emissions version of Transit, America’s best-selling commercial van. The electric van investment in Kansas City is in addition to the $300 million Ford invested for the launch this year of the all-new F-150. E-Transit is part of Ford’s more than $11.5 billion 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,” Galhotra said. “With the stunning Mustang Mach-E SUV, an all-electric F-150 and the new E-Transit, our first wave of EVs in North America will introduce a whole new generation to EVs.”
The automaker is also investing approximately $150 million in the Ford Van Dyke Transmission Plant in Southeast Michigan to build e-motors and e-transaxles beginning in 2021. This will retain 225 jobs at the plant.
Given the strong early interest in Ford’s all-electric F-150 since the September announcement, Ford is now increasing production plans by 50 percent versus original plans. To deliver more fully electric trucks, Ford will add 200 new jobs in addition to the 300 jobs previously announced for the new electric F-150.
Ford spends more than $5 billion annually on engineering in America, which includes the development of the all-new, fully electric Transit, the F-150, and the all-new Mustang Mach-E.
“We are investing heavily in our vehicle programs as well as building out our manufacturing capabilities,” said Hau Thai-Tang, chief product platform and operations officer. “This will allow us to scale quickly as customer interest in these new products grows.”
In addition to electric vehicle manufacturing sites for trucks and vans in the U.S., the company is also is investing C$1.8 billion ($1.35 billion USD) to transform the Ford Oakville Assembly Plant in Ontario starting in 2024 to include next-generation battery-electric vehicles. It will mark the first time ever that an automaker has produced full BEVs in Canada for the North American market.
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, vice president, North American manufacturing. “We’re setting ourselves up for profitable business now and in the future.”