According to Reuters, the chief electrification executive for Ford Motor Company (F.N.) stated on Monday that the absence of widespread charging infrastructure and battery raw materials could severely limit the market for electric vehicles.
At a conference in London about electric vehicles, Doug Field stated that “infrastructure is the biggest thing that really needs to be nailed for widespread adoption.
” People “just shouldn’t have to worry about it,” but “a lot of coordination is going to be needed to get the right levels of compatibility, capability, and reliability in that charging network.”
Field: Vertical Integration Could Be Answer to Battery Raw Materials Shortage
When asked about the possibility of a shortage of raw materials for batteries, Field, who is Ford’s chief advanced product development and technology officer for the Model e, said that vertical integration could be the answer to the problem.
Henry Ford is credited with developing the concept of vertical integration, and in recent years, Tesla Inc. (TSLA.O) has helped to popularize the concept. A company is said to practice “vertical integration” when it owns and manages all stages of the production process.
Field, a former executive at Tesla and Apple Inc. who started his career 35 years ago at Ford, has said, “The companies that go very, very far upstream, capture the materials years in advance, lock them up, and build a clear strategy around the battery supply chain will win.”
Companies will be forced to vertically integrate in ways that they haven’t done in decades as a result of the kind of change that has occurred.
Field painted a picture of a future Ford vehicle that is capable of “doing things your phone can’t do,” such as providing an augmented reality (AR) experience that is fully immersive while the vehicle is in motion.
Field stated that the manufacturer is working on improving the user interface by adding software as well as strategically placing cameras and speakers. This is being done so that drivers will not have to take their hands off the wheel.
According to Ford, this presents an opportunity to create “an experience that will blow people away and make them feel like they’re in a science fiction movie.”
Reporting was handled by Paul Lienert in Detroit, and Richard Chang in New York City was responsible for editing.