Ford Motor became the latest automaker to accelerate its transition to electric cars, saying Wednesday that its European division would soon begin to phase out vehicles powered by fossil fuels. By 2026, the company will offer only electric and plug-in hybrid models, and by 2030 all passenger cars will run solely on batteries.
The plan is part of a bid to generate steady profits in Europe, where Ford has struggled for several years, as well as to meet increasingly strict emissions standards in the European Union.
“We are going all in on electric vehicles,” Stuart Rowley, president of Ford of Europe, said during a news conference.
Ford and other automakers are moving more rapidly on electric vehicles in Europe than in the United States. Last year, the European Union began imposing penalties on carmakers that do not adhere to limits on carbon dioxide emissions, forcing them to sell more electric cars.
Ford is a relatively minor player in Europe, with 5 percent of the passenger car market, but it said it planned to spend $1 billion to overhaul its main European plant, in Cologne, Germany, to produce electric vehicles. The first new model is supposed to go into production in 2023, Ford said, and will use electric vehicle technology developed by Volkswagen.
Ford has begun selling its battery powered Mustang Mach-E in Europe and will begin delivering models to European customers during the next few weeks.
All of the delivery vans and commercial vehicles made by Ford of Europe will be electric or plug-in hybrids by 2024, and its entire range of vehicles would be electric or plug-in hybrids two years after that.
However, Ford will continue to sell commercial vehicles with gasoline or diesel engines in Europe for years to come. The company said that, by 2030, two-thirds of the commercial vehicles it sells in Europe will be battery powered.
“There will still be demand for conventionally power vehicles,” Mr. Rowley said.
Last month, General Motors said it aimed to produce only electric vehicles by 2035, but G.M. has all but pulled out of Europe. The company sold its Opel division in 2017 to France’s Peugeot SA. Peugeot recently merged with Fiat Chrysler and is now known as Stellantis.
Jaguar Land Rover said Monday that all of its Jaguar luxury cars, and 60 percent of Land Rover luxury SUVs, will run solely on batteries by 2030.