Ford Starting New Team Edison To Develop EVs

Ford is setting up a new team to study and develop more electric vehicles.

Ford told Automotive News yesterday that the automaker is setting up a new internal team to develop full EVs. It will operate separately from Ford’s hybrid and plug-in hybrid teams.

“We see an inflection point in the major markets toward battery electric vehicles,” said Sherif Marakby, Ford’s head of electrification and autonomous vehicles.

“We feel it’s important to have a cross-functional team all the way from defining the strategy plans and implementation to advanced marketing,” Marakby added.

The new internal team has been dubbed Team Edison. It will handle not just the vehicle design, but will also be responsible for the strategy behind the EVs and even the marketing. It will take a broader look at the EV market.

SEE ALSO: Ford Confirms 300-Mile Range Electric SUV, F-150 Hybrid and Mustang Hybrid – and More

“The idea is to think big, move fast and make quicker decisions” on EV production as demand increases and technology advances, Marakby said.

EVs are still a new type of vehicle, aimed largely at a narrow piece of the automotive market. Much the same way that high-performance cars like the Mustang and Ford GT need special engineering and marketing teams, so do EVs. At least for now, until EVs become more mainstream.

Marakby said that Ford is on schedule to deliver 13 electrified vehicles over the next five years. Seven of those have already been announced. Those already announced include a hybrid F-150, Mustang, and Transit Connect. Ford said that the hybrid F-150 would be available by 2020, and that the hybrid Mustang would be revealed that year. Two new electrified police vehicles have also been announced. The first of the two, the Fusion-based Police Responder Hybrid, was revealed earlier this year.

The company had already announced that a fully electric SUV is in the works. The SUV is slated to have an estimated range in excess of 300 miles, and is set to be revealed by 2020.

Team Edison will also explore partnerships with other automakers, suppliers, and tech companies.

“We are open to partnerships, but this team will be responsible to define the strategy,” Marakby said.

Ford hasn’t changed their previously announced plans to spend $4.5 billion on electrification by 2020.

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