Ford Motor Company has formed a new internal group dubbed “Team Edison” (take that, Tesla) to maintain a laser-like focus on the automaker’s electrification strategy, Reuters reports. Team Edison will be based in Detroit, Michigan, and will work with electrification teams in China and Europe.
Among the new Ford team’s goals will be to identify potential electrification partnerships with suppliers and other carmakers, Ford VP of Autonomous Vehicles and Electrification Sherif Marakby told Reuters. With China, India, France, and the UK all announcing plans to phase out fossil-fuel automobiles over the coming decades, global demand for electric vehicles has “a significant potential to increase,” he says.
Team Edison “will look holistically at the electric vehicle market,” Marakby says. “The idea is to think big, move fast and make quicker decisions” with regard to introducing new electrified vehicles – something for which Ford has attracted criticism in the past. Ford’s battery-powered Ford Focus Electric was a step in the right direction, but its paltry EPA-estimated 107-mile range keeps it from being competitive with the new Chevrolet Bolt EV (238-mile range).
Ford in late-2015 announced a plan to invest $4.5 billion into introducing 13 new electrified vehicles by 2020, including hybrids, plug-ins, and battery-electric vehicles, but General Motors has since one-upped the Dearborn-based automaker by committing to bring out 20 pure-electric vehicles by 2023 (via GM Authority).
Team Edison will report to Ted Cannis – Ford’s new Global Director of Electrification.