During Ford Capital Markets Day, Hau Thai-Tang, Chief Product Platform and Operations Officer, said that Ford anticipates 40% of Ford’s global vehicle volume will be fully electric by 2030—“a massive shift from the low single digits today.”
Our goal is to win with BEVS and achieve equal to higher market share in the same high-volume segments and markets that we compete in today with ICE vehicles. Our ultimate goal is to deliver a holistic ecosystem including services that should allow us to achieve higher profitability over time with BEVs than we do today with ICE vehicles.
Plus, a digital ecosystem and resulting network effect will create a first mover advantage and stickiness for Ford for years to come. This is why we have been so passionate about growing our investment in BEVS and battery technology—now $30 billion by 2025.
Thai-Tang and his colleagues outlined where and how the company is headed with fully electric vehicles, commercial solutions and connected services. The company is accelerating investments and increasing planned total spending on electrification—including battery development—to more than $30 billion by 2025, while deriving efficiencies from Ford’s flexible EV architecture and modular technologies.
Batteries. IonBoost+ plus is Ford’s next-generation battery technology featuring the highest energy density of any cell of its type. IonBoost+ features a unique pouch cell format that is ideal for large vehicles and performance products, Thai-Tang said. The technology scales across product lines.
Ford is also developing a different battery cell optimized for commercial vehicles. IonBoostPro uses a lithium iron phosphate chemistry that costs less, and is better suited for duty cycles that require less range, and where batteries are fully drained every use cycle. Both of those are key requirements for commercial customers, Thai-Tang said..
Ford’s investment in solid-state battery company SolidPower (earlier post) underscores that Ford believes production-feasible solid-state batteries are within reach this decade.
Lisa Drake, Ford’s Chief Operating Officer, North America, said that Ford is absolutely committed to designing, engineering and manufacturing its own batteries. Ford’s plans call for 240 GWh of battery cell capacity by the end of the decade; 140 GWh will be required in North America, with the balance in Europe and China.
Noting the partnership with SK (earlier post), Drake said that the cost ambition of the partnership was to deliver a 40% reduction in battery cost by mid-decade vs. 2021. Drake said Ford is on track to under $100/kWh by 2025; the goal is to achieve an $80/kWh target before the end of the decade.
Vehicle architectures. Ford has five flexible architectures in use in its portfolio today: battery-electric vehicle; commercial van unibody; rear-wheel drive unibody; front-wheel drive unibody; and body on frame.
Moving to BEVs allows reimagining architectures, Thai-Tang said. With BEVs sharing common items, Ford can optimize the lineup for scale, efficiency and more profitability. Ford plans to share cells, BMS, motors, gearboxes, motor controller units, and more. When coupled with catalog of cross vehicle technologies, Ford can share up to 80% of vehicle value across the portfolio.
Ford is introducing two BEV architectures: a RWD/AWD flexible architecture that will handle models up through mid-size trucks and 2- and 3-row midsize SUVs; and a scalable, dedicated BEV architecture for next-generation full-size pickups and utilities.
RWD/AWD flexible architecture platform (left) and full-size pickup and utility platform (right).
Ford expects one-third of all full-size pickups in the US to be all-electric by 2030—about 800,000 vehicles annually. It expects 70% of full-size bus and vans to be electric by 2030—about 300,000 vehicles annually.
RWD/AWD BEV architecture.
Thai-Tang noted that it is more efficient for Ford to partner with VW and its MEB in Europe for small and mid-size BEVs there. As for Ford’s relationship with Rivian, Thai-Tang said that Ford was “learning from their perspective as an agile startup. Both [VW and Rivian] are adding value.”
Next-gen tech stack: Blue Oval Intelligence. Ford’s next-gen tech stack, called Blue Oval Intelligence, encompasses software architecture; cloud and edge networks; the vehicle electric architecture; power distribution; and onboard computers, memory and sensing hardware.
The new vehicle electric architecture is moving the computing and data workload from standalone modules to a centralized processing center with considerably more compute power and memory. This will allow physical sensors on the vehicle to be separate from the logic and data they consume and produce. This allows OTA updates without changing the hardware.