LONDON, March 16 (Reuters) - Ford Motor Co said on Tuesday that the next version of its Transit van for the European market will go into production in Turkey in 2023 and include fully electric and hybrid variants along with the combustion-engined version.
The vans will be built by Ford Otosan, the No. 2 U.S. automaker’s joint venture in Turkey.
Ford Otosan will also make a one-tonne commercial vehicle for Volkswagen AG as part of an alliance between Ford and the German carmaker.
Ford is the top commercial vehicle brand in Europe with a 15% share, and has led the commercial van market in Britain, Europe’s largest, for 56 years.
Last month Ford said its passenger car lineup in Europe would be all-electric by 2030.
Tightening CO2 emissions targets in Europe and China have combined with improving battery technology to provide greater range at lower costs, giving commercial electric vehicles (EVs) their moment in the sun after years of waiting.
Soaring e-commerce deliveries amid the pandemic are also spurring interest in commercial EVs.
Ford is betting it can profit from selling electric vans to delivery businesses that need to reduce carbon emissions.
Ford said in February its entire commercial vehicle lineup would offer all-electric or plug-in hybrid versions by 2024. It said it expects two-thirds of its commercial vehicle sales in Europe to be all-electric or plug-in hybrid by 2030. (Reporting by Nick Carey; editing by Jason Neely)