Ford has begun work on a new generation of electric vehicles. Based in the United States and dubbed Ford Team Edison, the group in charge of the project has been tasked with setting a new trajectory for the brand, challenging every applicable process its members have experienced during their time in vehicle development.
The manufacturer is investing $11 billion (around £9bn) into producing no fewer than 16 fully electric vehicles and bringing them to the market by 2022 – as part of a wider, global portfolio of 40 electrified vehicles.
The team, from its headquarters in Corktown Detroit has been given the freedom to collaborate in an entirely new way, thereby fuelling the creativity and ingenuity of its members and enabling them to come up with the best possible EV solutions. This has involved a human-centric approach. The lack of historical data on electric models has led to Ford Team Edison looking at how extended families, among others, use vehicles and researching directly what customers want from their cars.
For the group, innovation comes in the form of inexpensive modelling as opposed to shiny, state‐of the‐art prototypes. Global Product Development Director for Ford Team Edison, Darren Palmer, explains, “I’ve kept one of our first prototypes of the infotainment system for one of our new electric vehicles. It’s literally cardboard, with a piece of a plastic cup stuck to it with tape. What I’m trying to demonstrate is that innovation does not have to be expensive. It has to be smart.”
With their enthusiasm and commitment, Ford Team Edison is working to develop a whole EV ecosystem that provides flawless performance, comfort and technology to modern drivers. We at Birchwood Ford look forward to the ensuing releases from the manufacturer, and will be happy to advise customers on the current electric and hybrid offering from Ford in the meantime.