Ford tries zagging in the EV arms race

Mai 23, às 20:12


4 min de leitura


0 leituras

Ford CEO Jim Farley called it a “personal bullet train.” Doug Field, the automaker’s chief advanced product development and technology officer, described it as “groundbreaking.” Ford’s next-generation...
Ford tries zagging in the EV arms race

Ford CEO Jim Farley called it a “personal bullet train.” Doug Field, the automaker’s chief advanced product development and technology officer, described it as “groundbreaking.”

Ford’s next-generation full-sized SUV EV might turn out to be both — if the automaker’s claimed advances in physics and energy loss translate into the real world.

Ford’s next-generation EV platform, which will be the basis of the T3 electric truck and three-row SUV that are going into production in 2025, signals a new strategy for the automaker. As some of its competitors try to cram even bigger batteries in trucks and SUVs, Ford is hyper focused on finding ways to reduce the pack size while still maintaining performance and range.

Companies have long turned to aerodynamics and other efficiency tricks to boost fuel economy, and now range, in EVs. But another trend is afoot in the U.S. market: automakers trying to meet consumer demand for trucks and SUVs while shifting to EVs are turning to bigger batteries.

“There’s a bit of an arms race in the industry to shove bigger and bigger batteries into large EVs to try and make them like ICE (internal combustion engine) vehicles,” Field said Monday during the company’s Capital Markets Day. “But the real battleground in electrification is about efficiency. Efficiency is like God’s work. When we really understand the physics around energy loss in an EV, we optimize it rather than compromise it.”

For Ford engineers, that meant using computer simulations to find ways to improve efficiency. Field said engineers and designers have done everything from using tires with lower rolling resistance and maximizing the propulsion system, to changing the ride height and aerodynamics of the vehicle.

The end result, according to Field, is a three-row family vehicle with 350 miles of range that can still cover 300 miles even when it’s traveling at 70 miles per hour. The battery is one-third smaller and lighter, and thousands of dollars less expensive, he added. A slide shared during the presentation shows the outline of the next-gen electric SUV with a 100 kilowatt-hour battery pack. For comparison, the GMC Hummer EV has a 212.7 kilowatt-hour capacity battery pack and can travel an estimated 329 miles on a single charge.

Selling large three-row EV SUVs with smaller, lighter batteries could help boost Ford’s automotive margins. It could also help shore up supply chain issues because smaller batteries theoretically use fewer raw materials, a point Field emphasized.

“With the same amount of scarce battery raw materials we can bring our product to three customers instead of two,” he said. “And those three customers are getting get a new and a better product.”

Automotive margins and the supply chain are two areas where Ford desperately wants — and needs — to improve. CEO Jim Farley said in February that production inefficiencies, supply chain struggles and rising material costs led to lower margins, noting the company left $2 billion in profits on the table in 2022.

In an effort to turn that around, Ford has restructured its company into three distinct units: its commercial business Ford Pro, its traditional internal combustion engine and hybrid business Ford Blue and Ford Model e, which focuses on connectivity and electric vehicles.

Ford has also made efficiency an obsession.

So this obsession in EVs is more than engineering, it’s like a religion,” Field said. “The teams have put together these little pocket cards that say, what are the trade offs of efficiency? How much do I get for every little piece of weight that I take out of the vehicle? What do I get for better tires? What do I get for more efficiency and propulsion?”

Other EV companies have taken this hyper focused approach to efficiency. Lucid Motors, for instance, spent years developing a miniaturized powertrain, and Tesla is the leader when looking at EVs that travel the farthest per gallon of gasoline equivalent — arguably a better metric to look at than range.

Of course, maximum efficiency only gets an automaker so far. Ford, and any other rival trying to find a niche in the EV sector, has to produce a vehicle consumers want.

Continue lendo


"From Occupational Therapy to Code": CodeNewbie Podcast S24E4
In S24E4 of the CodeNewbie Podcast, @saronyitbarek talks about building inclusive web applications with Africa Mincey, Accessibility Engineer! Africa Mincey is a Software Engineer and accessibility...

Hoje, às 15:34


How to make your own simple translator in HTML & JavaScript
DESCRIPTION: In this tutorial, I will teach you how to make a website that translates one language into another using HTML, CSS, and JavaScript. Part One [Choosing a Language]: When choosing a...

Hoje, às 15:23

Tech Crunch

Cortex raises $35M Series B for its internal developer portal
Cortex, a startup building an internal developer portal that helps engineering teams build better software at scale, today announced a $35 million Series B funding round led by IVP. Craft Ventures, along with...

Hoje, às 15:01

Tech Crunch

Okay, which analyzes engineers’ productivity, sells to Stripe
Fintech giant Stripe has acquired Okay, a startup that developed a low-code analytics software to help engineering leaders better understand how their teams are performing, the companies told TechCrunch...

Hoje, às 15:00


Next.js 13 and React Suspense: Create a loading component
Written by Suraj Vishwakarma✏️ It has been some time since Next.js 13 was launched in October 2022. In the beta, we learned of some major changes coming to Next.js, like support for Suspense, a React feature...

Hoje, às 14:29


AWS Lambda Use Cases: When You Should Use It?
Lambda, and Serverless in general, is rather “in” right now in the world of cloud computing. If you listened to all the marketing coming out from the big names about it (and yes, I’m guilty of this too);...

Hoje, às 14:13

Tech Crunch

Hyro secures $30M for its AI-powered, healthcare-focused conversational platform
Israel Krush and Rom Cohen first met in an AI course at Cornell Tech, where they bonded over a shared desire to apply AI voice technologies to the healthcare sector. Specifically, they sought to automate the...

Hoje, às 14:00

Tech Crunch

SecureSave's secret weapon: Suze Orman
Hello, and welcome back to Equity, a podcast about the business of startups, where we unpack the numbers and nuance behind the headlines. This is our Wednesday show, where we niche down to a single person,...

Hoje, às 13:59


Welcome Thread - v227
Leave a comment below to introduce yourself! You can talk about what brought you here, what you're learning, or just a fun fact about yourself. Reply to someone's comment, either with a question or just a...

Hoje, às 13:51

AI | Techcrunch

Just how hard is it for startups to raise capital today?
Hello, friends! If you are a founder looking to raise your first external capital or your startup is a bit farther down the line, you need to know what’s going on in the world of venture capital. Don’t worry, the TechCrunch+ crew has your back. Building off TechCrunch’s rapid-fire coverage of individual startup funding rounds, […]

Hoje, às 13:33