The first Kansas City-made electric vehicles just rolled off the line at Ford’s massive factory in the Northland.
Detroit-based Ford Motor Co. announced Tuesday that its Kansas City plant began shipping the 2022 E-Transit van, the electric version of the popular Ford Transit cargo van.
The E-Transit is the company’s second electric vehicle, following the brand’s Mustang Mach-E. Ford spent $100 million upgrading its Kansas City Assembly Plant in Claycomo and hired 150 new employees to build the electric van.
“Our employees are very excited about being a part of history,” said Carlos Howell, manager of Ford’s Kansas City plant.
Ford’s is the largest manufacturing center in the Kansas City area. The Claycomo plant employs 7,100 workers and produces more vehicles than any other Ford factory on the continent. In addition to the E-Transit, the local plant produces the gas-powered Transit van and the best-selling F-150 pickup.
Employees are also building batteries for the electric van in Kansas City — making the plant Ford’s only factory assembling both batteries and electric vehicles in house.
Officials in Detroit said demand is strong for the E-Transit van with 300 customers already ordering more than 10,000 vans. Though the vans are available for personal use, they are most often used for government or business fleets. Current customers include Walmart and the City of Orlando, Ford said.
The vans have a range of 126 miles per charge with a suggested retail price of $43,295.
“E-Transit is a testament to the fact that an electric commercial fleet is no longer a vision of tomorrow, but a productivity-boosting modern reality,” Kumar Galhotra, president of The Americas & International Markets Group for Ford, said in a news release.
Like its rivals, Ford has spent billions to transition to electric vehicle production. The company said 40% of its vehicles will be electrified by 2030.
Within the next two years, Ford officials say they expect to have the global capacity to build 600,000 electric vehicles per year.
The Yucatan Times