Ford to go 100% electric in Europe, could launch Fiesta Electric on MEB Lite [Update]

Ford has announced that it’s going all-electric (for passenger models) in Europe by 2030. By mid-2026, the company’s entire PV line-up in the Old Continent will be electrified. Ford’s EV offensive in the passenger vehicle industry will include the launch of a Ford Fiesta Electric based on Volkswagen Group’s MEB platform, it is reported.

Ford is investing $1 billion in a new EV manufacturing centre in Cologne, Germany. The company says that its first mass-market passenger EV for Europe will enter production at this facility in 2023, ascertained as a crossover-SUV similar to the VW ID.4. Manufacturing a second EV at the Cologne plant is under consideration, the Blue Oval has confirmed. The company hasn’t revealed the identity of the models, but we read on the media grapevine that one of them is the Ford Fiesta.

The announcement came just days after Automobilwoche reported that Ford plans to start making electric cars at the Cologne plant beginning with the next-gen Ford Fiesta on the basis of the MEB platform. There’s a strong possibility now that the VW ID.2 and next-gen Ford Fiesta electric will be platform-mates.

Ford Cologne Electrification Center
With the new $1 billion investment announced in February, Ford plans to transform the existing Cologne vehicle assembly operations into the Ford Cologne Electrification Center. This will be the company’s first such facility in the Old Continent. Image Source: Ford

Last year Ford confirmed commercial EVs based on Volkswagen’s MEB platform, and the partnership now extends to passenger cars. “The matter has been decided, the electric car based on the MEB (Modular E-Drive Construction Kit) from Volkswagen is coming to Cologne,” a Ford source told Automobilwoche in February. The Fiesta is the only car that comes off the assembly line at the German factory. The current, seventh-gen Ford Fiesta reaches the end of its life in 2024.

Ford Fiesta electric could ride on VW Group’s MEB-Lite architecture

The eighth-gen Ford Fiesta will likely be an electric-only model. Rumour has it that the Peugeot 208, a Ford Fiesta rival, is also going exclusively electric in its next generation to intensify the rivalry in the B-Segment electric car market. The Volkswagen Group is engineering a version of the MEB platform for small cars far less costly, referred to as the MEB-Lite.

A Seat urban electric car, with stylings of a crossover, arriving in 2025 and costing between €20,000-25,000 is the first model that would utilize the MEB-Lite platform. VW Group brand Seat has been tasked with the development of the modified version of the MEB platform. The second vehicle from this platform could be the VW ID.2.

Reports are speculating that the Ford MEB-Lite hatchback will feature the ID.3’s 45 kWh Lithium-ion pack and have a range of around 300 km on a full charge. However, Volkswagen Group is pondering over MEB-Lite models with Lithium Iron Phosphate battery packs that don’t offer the same amount of energy density (which means a shorter range) but are cheaper and last longer. This could be used under the flat floor of the Ford Fiesta Electric as well. The rumoured Ford Puma Electric may have a similar technical setup.

Jim Farley, President and CEO, Ford, announced in February that the Blue Oval will invest $22 billion in electrification through 2025, nearly double that of the previously committed amount. The Ford Fiesta Electric, sharply focused on the European market, should be a part of the investment. The report adds that the company will skip a few hybrid models and proceed directly to 100% EVs.

Featured Image Source: Ford