Ford's New Team Edison Will Battle Tesla Like It's The Year 1880

Technology / 18 Comments

Funny how history has a way of repeating itself.

More than a century ago, Thomas Edison and Nikola Tesla waged what's now called a "War of Currents" over whose electrical system would prevail. Edison proposed direct-current while Tesla favored alternating-current. No coincidence an upcoming Hollywood movie about that is titled "The Current War." Anyway, Tesla, the carmaker that bears the man's name, has come to dominate today's EV industry, forcing established automakers to follow suit.

In its effort to adequately fight this 21st century EV war, Reuters reports Ford has created "Team Edison," a group whose mission is to "think big" and "make quicker decisions." In other words, Ford has started its own in-house start-up team, which will be based in Detroit. However, it will work with regional Ford vehicle electrification teams in China and Europe. What's interesting about Team Edison is that it'll function very unlike a traditional automaker. Sherif Marakby, Ford's VP of autonomous vehicles and electrification, told Reuters "The idea is to think big, move fast, and make quicker decisions" when it comes to EVs. Team Edison "will look holistically at the electric vehicle market."

Ford previously announced a plan to spend some $4.5 billion over the next five years on EVs, but that also includes plug-in hybrids. Team Edison, from what it sounds like, has quite a task on its hands. In light of GM's announcement that it'll drop the internal combustion engine for a fully electrified lineup (eventually), Ford is definitely heading in the right direction. The make up of Team Edison is still unknown, but it'd make sense for Ford to seek outsiders as well as experienced industry folk. The combined expertise could yield some fascinating results.


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