Ford Motor is certainly stepping up its game to get ahead of the pack when it comes to race on producing the top electric vehicle and smart mobility devices. Although many may initially think of this maker as the producer of the top-selling pick-up trucks in Northern America, the firm has set its eye on a more innovative platform- the production of best-selling vehicles and smart devices for mobility. Nevertheless, the cutting-edge transport technology in a cut-throat industry has been one of the company’s greatest visions.
It can be recalled that the CEO of the company, Mark Fields, made an announcement at the early parts o 2016 on the two-part strategy that Ford was to embark on. He states that Ford would continue to produce and sell popular vehicles (including electric vehicles) while boosting its investment in the creation of intelligent mobility services. He likewise made mention of the fact that Ford was and is keen on rethinking a more viable approach in business that would connect the present to the future. This is tantamount to going for a more elaborate technology for their own electric vehicle models and for other succeeding mobility products.
Partnerships with Various Key Players
Anchored to the vision of making Ford a true leader in the electric vehicle race and smart mobility, it has also taken quite a massive step in terms of partnerships. One of the steps taken by the vehicle manufacturer is with Amazon’s Echo. Ford has worked on a technology which would make it possible for its own SYNC in-car tech to be compatible with the smart speaker called Amazon Echo. It has also made an effort to make the SYNC tech compatible with various systems including the Wink Home Automation and the virtual assistance platform called Alexa. With such technology, the Ford owners of an electric vehicle or otherwise will be able to perform voice-control over several platforms such as their own cars, Web-liked devices, home security systems, TV’s, lights, and thermostats.
Ford is also calling for the quick implementation of the projects as there are now currently about15 million of vehicles tat are SYNC-equipped. The number is expected to rise up to 43 million by the year 2020. This is also a clear sign that Ford is going beyond the typical electric vehicle production and is ready to engage in smart technology as well. The step is quite timely as based on a survey conducted by Icontrol Networks, about 50% of consumers mentioned of their plans to purchase at least one smart home device in the next year.
Another project which proves that Ford is in the process of making it big in the electric vehicle and smart innovation race is the plan to expand their autonomous cars fleet. The plan is to triple its current fleet from 10 cars to 30. The goal is to create the largest fleet of self-driving cars in the entire electric car industry. The cars are to be installed with Velodyne, a next-generation sensor system, and will eventually be tested in states such as Arizona, Michigan, and California.
Another project in the pipeline which has been announced by Ford is centered on mobility strategy. This includes several other projects such as funding of a competition on transportation technology and a project with DJI, a world-renowned one maker.
The major plans laid out by Ford is a big part of its plan to spend a whopping $4.5 Billion in the electric vehicle development and production in the succeeding five years. This would also include Ford’s project to develop 13 new electric vehicles over the said period as seen in the recently developed Ford Focus Electric Vehicle.
Why the Business Shift
The entire Ford plan is strategic and is deeply rooted in societal trends, urbanization, associated health and social issues, and the apparent change in the consumer behavior, specifically among millennial. The giant electric vehicle manufacturer now has a market share of 6% in the global auto and electric vehicle industry. In addition, the new projects which focus on growing the electric vehicle production and smart device are geared towards self-preservation, according to Ford.
How Does Ford Intend to With the Electric Vehicle Race
For starter, the $4.5 billion investment in the electric vehicle production plays a significant role. Investing such a massive amount is tantamount to Ford’s acknowledgment that it intends to meet the zero-emission requirements set forth on the EPA Corporate Average Fuel Economy. Moreover, Ford is also sending a message that it certainly means business when it comes to ensuring the growth of its electric vehicle lineup.
The truth is , as compared to other automobile makers, Ford did not design and develop their first electric vehicle from scratch. The strategy employed by Ford involved installing electricity power sources on their existing brands such as the Ford Fusion and the Ford Focus. They have likewise used the existing C-Max design that they have created in Europe.
With such strategy, they were able to sell more electric vehicles in the US back in 2015 as compared to other manufacturers. The practical approach of adding the electric powertrain to their already selling car brands served the company well. This has saved a lot of resources they could have spent on creating a brand new brand of electric vehicle. Another advantage of the said strategy is that the company was able to save more on training and there was, in some way, a minimal pressure should their first electric vehicle flops.
Ford vs General Motors on Electric Vehicle Development
While Ford managed to make a killing by improving their existing brands and developing them into electric vehicles, General Motors took a different path. The approach was far more costly as GM made a hefty investment in developing a new platform for electric vehicles from scratch. For GM, this would guarantee better performance. True to its plan, it launched its Chevy Bolt which boasts 200 miles of range. The even more surprising fact is that the said EV brand is sold at approximately $30,000 a unit. This has certainly increased the pressure on Ford to boost its plan.
The Competition Never Ceases
While automobile giants such as Ford and General Motors have their eyes on the creating the best electric vehicle, Tesla is also making a massive return with its Tesla Model 3 which is about to be released in just a few months. Elon Musk also has the plan of its own which is now making a big noise in the electric vehicle manufacturing industry. The partnership with SolarCity and the changes in the Supercharging access and fees are all part of Tesla’s own mission to conquer the electric vehicle race.
Not far behind are Apple and Google who are ready to engage in the car competition in terms of service. Moreover, there are also new key players in Silicon Valley that are set to make the competition even more interesting. The questions now are – will they be able to catch up with Ford’s plans? Is Ford ready to take the competition to another level? The next 5 years will provide the tech and car enthusiasts the answer to those questions. For now, Ford intends to stay focused on delivering the best electric vehicle and top smart home and mobility devices to its customers.