By Paul Lienert
(Reuters) - Ford Motor Co has formed a team to accelerate global development of electric vehicles, whose mission will be to “think big” and “make quicker decisions,” an executive of the company said on Monday.
One aim of Ford's "Team Edison" is to identify and develop electric-vehicle partnerships with other companies, including suppliers, in some markets, according to Sherif Marakby, vice president of autonomous vehicles and electrification.
- Celebrity deaths 2018: All the stars we lost too soon 44 Pictures
- 10 finalists for TIME Person of the Year 2018 10 Pictures
Global demand for electric vehicles has "a significant potential to increase" as governments implement EV mandates and quotas, Marakby said in an interview.
He said the group will be based in the Detroit area and work with regional Ford vehicle electrification teams in China and Europe.
China, India, France and the United Kingdom all have announced plans to phase out vehicles powered by combustion engines and fossil fuels between 2030 and 2040.
Marakby said Team Edison "will look holistically at the electric vehicle market."
"The idea is to think big, move fast and make quicker decisions" on EV production as demand increases and technology advances, he added.
Ford has not altered its previously announced plan to spend $4.5 billion over five years on electrified vehicles, including plug-in hybrids, Marakby said.
He declined to say how many new electric vehicles Ford expects to add in the future.
The new team will report to Ted Cannis, who has been named global director of electrification.
(Reporting by Paul Lienert in Detroit; Editing by Jeffrey Benkoe and W Simon)