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"Team Edison" Is Ford's Attempt at Staying Relevant in the EV Market

Ford is feeling the gap widening between its EV efforts and the rest of the market, so it decided to take action. Its most recent response is the creation of a separate division called "Team Edison" that will seek to accelerate the development of this technology and secure alliances with other companies.
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The Blue Oval is trailing most of its rivals in this field, falling well off even one of its traditional domestic competitors, General Motors. It's been almost a year since GM launched the largely well-received Bolt electric hatchback, and the company has also announced its electrification plans: two more models coming in one year and a half, 20 by 2023.

Ford, on the other hand, doesn't have a very coherent EV strategy. It sells a battery-powered version of its Focus hatchback, but it's an even less convincing transformation than what Volkswagen has done with the e-Golf, but other than that, it's been pretty quiet.

"We see an inflection point in the major markets toward battery electric vehicles," Sherif Marakby, Ford's head of electrification and autonomous vehicles told Automotive News. "We feel it's important to have a cross-functional team all the way from defining the strategy plans and implementation to advanced marketing."

This statement alone shows the company is at least two years behind if it's only now realizing the shift is coming. However, the official also said that Ford is on schedule to deliver 13 new electrified vehicles over the next five years, but he did not care to provide a clear timeline or how many of those would be BEVs. There's a crossover with a 300-mile maximum range planned for 2020 that we know of, but that's about the extent of it.

Over in Europe, Ford is busy building electric delivery vans for the Deutsche Post (DHL) based on its Transit model. There's definitely a market for light commercial EVs with Mercedes-Benz and probably Tesla also interested, but that's not where the main battle will take place.

With the announcement of the "Team Edison" division, Ford is finally showing it takes the EV race seriously. All we can do now is sit back and see what this newly created group will come up with. Whatever it is, one thing is certain: those looking to buy an electric vehicle in 2020 will have plenty to choose from.


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