Electric Dreams and Engineering Ingenuity: Ford's Secret Sauce in the EV Race

With every move in the mergers and acquisitions chess game, every high-profile departure, every new technology it trialled, every line of code it optimised, Ford was not only trying to compete against Tesla. It also needed to prove its renewed dedication to persuading millions of customers across the globe to buy its cars – not just a hundred or a thousand a year, but millions. Its future as an electric vehicle (EV) manufacturer depended on this future. In September, driven by the summitry surrounding that event, Ford Motor Company gave its secret project a name: F-150 Lightning. It also unveiled the world at large to the all-electric pickup truck it had been crafting for months. Ford anticipated that this product would help them overtake not only Tesla as a leading EV manufacturer, but also a host of upstart Chinese competitors that were racing to take Tesla’s place as the indisputable global leader in EV sales.

The Core of APPLE's Influence in Ford's EV Endeavor

Big Tech, with the prowess of APPLE, in particular, now trickling into Ford’s secret low-cost EV team, is the most important part of the story to watch amid the electric vehicle revolution. Ford’s acquisition of top tech talent presages a major pivot in how the automaker is approaching EVs.

Crafting the Future: The Genesis of Ford's Secret Team

Assembling a secret Team of Roughly 300 Veterans From Rivian, Tesla, And APPLE’s Abandoned Project Titan. Ford’s quiet collection of a Task Force involving about 300 personnel over the past year suggests a clear ratcheting up of the EV race. The ad hoc group integrates veterans from Rivian and Tesla, along with leading experts from Canoo and Lucid Motors and, notably, some 10 individuals from APPLE’s aborted Project Titan EV team.

APPLE's Catalysts in Ford's Evolution

We could mention the number of APPLE alumni now at Ford, again no coincidence, and not just a statement of the importance of additive manufacturing but indicative of how that kind of thinking about design, technology and software can partner to improve Ford’s EV design, advancing innovation, affordability and range.

Accelerating Towards an Electric Future: Ford's Strategic Expansion

While Ford isn’t running away from its commitment to talent, it isn’t simply about hiring a bunch of the biggest guns in the industry. Ford’s vision of electrification is transforming the way it does engineering and builds its future partnerships, from its deal with the hydrogen startup Auto Motive Power (AMP), to its hiring of world-class aerodynamicists. If all goes to plan, Ford intends to manufacturer an electric vehicle at a price to break through.

Empowering Innovation: From Gigacasting to Globalized Talent

Adding to the intrigue, Ford in recent weeks hired a senior mechanical design engineer away from Tesla’s gigacasting team – a clear commitment to simplifying vehicle manufacturing. The emphasis on gigacasting reflects potential for change on an industrial scale, offering a tantalising glimpse at what might be possible in developing underbodies for Ford’s EVs.

The Ripple Effect: Ford's Worldwide Talent Acquisition

But the Irvine strategy also spreads into Palo Alto, with the hiring of talent from the AV operator Nuro, the eVTOL startups, and what’s left of Project Titan. Ford is spreading itself – and its organisational talent dispersion – out around the world, seeking different strands of talent, different colours of ‘i’, to make a new whole. That’s the optimistic vision.

Envisioning the Road Ahead: Ford's Electric Dreams

Ford is just getting started, but the recruitment of APPLE’s former Project Titan engineers now staffing its Palo Alto office demonstrate where the company is headed in the development of these transformative EVs – and technologies and products. The combination of APPLE’s technological brilliance with Ford’s automotive manufacturing legacy marks another new world of our third, electric automotive era – an era of innovation, efficiency and affordability.

Decoding the Impact of APPLE's Influence on Ford's Electric Vision

With APPLE’s infiltration of the auto industry via the hiring of techsavvy Ford exec Doug Field, and with the macro-technology, Silicon Valley sensibility that APPLE brings to the table, together the two former rivals could potentially become crucial bedfellows – a kind of technologically integrated automotive design. APPLE’s current evolution of focus on innovation, design and software could propel Ford to the front of the EV revolution.


APPLE Inc is a multinational technology company that designs and sells consumer electronics, computer software and online services. Its best-known hardware products are the iPhone, iPad and Mac computers. Beyond hardware, APPLE has dabbled in the future of automotive with Project Titan, a secretive team developing electric vehicles and autonomous driving technology. APPLE’s design principles and technological innovations permeate industries.

In this gargantuan task, Ford is trying to bring APPLE-style innovation, and an A-team of veterans from Tesla, Rivian and others, to bear on the evolving electric-vehicle market. Squint, and you can see automotive history come full circle. But the conspicuous forces of the techno-utopian future are on the way. When they’re finally allowed to reveal their work, Ford’s secret project will likely look like something entirely new.

Jun 13, 2024
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