(Reuters) – Ford Motor Co <F.N> said on Tuesday it would launch eight electric vehicles in Europe this year, a key step in its target of achieving a majority of its overall sales from electric cars by the end of 2022.
The launches include electric variants of the Kuga and Puma SUVs and the Mondeo sedan. The automaker also plans to launch 15 other electric vehicles by 2024 in Europe, including a new Mustang-inspired electric SUV next year.
The automaker has been restructuring in Europe, and said in June it would cut 12,000 jobs, close five plants and cut shifts at other factories in Europe by the end of 2020, in an effort to return the region to profitability.
Ford Europe has been losing money for years and the pressure to restructure its operations increased after rival General Motors <GM.N> raised profits by selling its European Opel and Vauxhall brands to France’s Peugeot SA <PEUP.PA>.
The challenge of investing in electric, hybrid and autonomous vehicles while having to overhaul combustion engines to meet new clean-air rules, has forced Europe’s carmakers to slash fixed costs and streamline their model portfolios.
Ford said on Tuesday it would partner with six leading energy suppliers across Europe to provide home charging wall box installation services and green energy tariffs for its electric car owners.
The company will also introduce a smartphone app that will let its users and operators locate, navigate to and pay for charging.
Ford said it expects its electric vehicle line-up to surpass sales of gasoline and diesel models by 2022 in Europe, and expects to sell 1 million electric vehicles by then. (http://bit.ly/2m2uZA7)
(Reporting by Sanjana Shivdas in Bengaluru; Editing by Saumyadeb Chakrabarty)