Zero-emission electric vehicles and advanced connectivity based on new electrical architecture and battery technology are key to the Ford+ growth plan detailed to analysts in a virtual meeting today.

The automaker is also claiming Ford Pro makes it the first auto manufacturer with a fully dedicated commercial vehicle services and distribution business.

“I’m excited about what Ford+ means for our customers, who will get new and better experiences by pairing our iconic, world-class vehicles with connected technology that constantly gets better over time,” said CEO Jim Farley in remarks published ahead of the event.

“We will deliver lower costs, stronger loyalty and greater returns across all our customers. This is our biggest opportunity for growth and value creation since Henry Ford started to scale the Model T, and we’re grabbing it with both hands.

Ford is breaking away from the transactional, build-and-sell business model that has typified the auto industry for decades and Ford+ is characterised by close, enduring customer relationships.

Blue Oval Intelligence is the automaker’s new, cloud-based platform for integrating electrical, power distribution, computing and software systems in
connected vehicles.

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By GlobalData

The company expects 40% of its global vehicle volume will be fully electric by 2030 with products including the Mustang Mach-E (Ford claims a 70% conquest rate), the F-150 Lightning pickup truck now on pre-order with 70,000 reservations and E-Transit commercial vans, out later this year.

Ford is investing in battery technology to design, engineer and manufacture its own batteries, with key developments including Ion Park, vertically integrating battery technology with an extensive range of EV batteries – IonBoost lithium ion; IonBoost Pro lithium iron phosphate for commercial vehicles; and long-range, low-cost solid-state batteries based on in-house engineering and know-how from Solid Power, in which the company holds an equity stake, and o Forming a joint venture, BlueOvalSK, with SK Innovation to manufacture battery cells and arrays at two plants in the US.

Ford Pro is a global vehicle services and distribution business within Ford devoted to commercial and government customers, and run by Ted Cannis, who’s been named CEO and a corporate officer. Cannis has been head of Ford’s North America CV business and previously managed the Team Edison EV development group.

The offer to CV buyers will include “the industry’s most comprehensive and flexible range of electric and internal combustion commercial vehicles, digital and physical services that can help optimise and maintain customer fleets, public, depot and employee home charging of EVs for the next day’s work, and bundled financing of vehicles, services and charging.

In connected services, Ford aims to have about 1m vehicles that are capable of receiving over-the-air system updates on the road by the end of this year, exceeding Tesla‘s volume by July 2022, and scaling to 33m by 2028.