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Ford Enhances Partnership With NewLab To Jumpstart Innovation At Michigan Central

Ford takes big step towards EV innovation with new partnership with firm Newlab as it tries to jumpstart its Innovative efforts at Michigan Central.
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Ford is out to prove that it will dominate the EV sales landscape, especially as it prepares to launch a new wave of green vehicles. The company has already invested considerable sums of money into battery recycling, battery cell production, and even autonomous vehicle technology. But all of this hard work would be for nothing if the Blue Oval couldn't be a leader in innovation. The company appears to have addressed this by enhancing its partnership with upstart firm NewLab, with the two firms working together to transform Michigan Central into a hub of innovation.

Building On Already Established Partnership

Ford and NewLab initially cemented their partnership back in June of 2020, with the idea that NewLab would help Ford undertake projects that would focus on autonomous driving and other future mobility projects. But before this announcement, we didn't hear much about what projects were formally being worked on, with the bulk of the work being kept secret.

Autofleet screen

The project that was revealed is an effort called Mobility Studio. The Mobility Studio program is at its core an umbrella that houses a wide swath of programs with EV collaboration, innovation, and the study of business methods that can help create a cleaner future. This new studio will be housed in the Michigan Central Train Station in Detroit, Michigan. Michigan Central was a crumbling hulk when Ford bought it from the Maroun family several years ago, but the auto giant has since begun an effort to revitalize and transform the structure into the focal point of a broader engineering campus.

“Together, Ford and Newlab are building upon our nation’s goal of reducing carbon emissions and the effects of climate change by advancing commercial fleet electrification,” said Matt Stover, director of charging and energy services, Ford Motor Company. “As Ford works to accelerate electric vehicle adoption and zero-emission transportation, the Mobility Studio is meeting the moment by identifying innovative solutions to enhance fleet management through connected data, integrate our vehicles into the energy ecosystem and advance urban charging for commercial fleets and support electric vehicle drivers at home. We are excited that we and our Ford Pro team can be linked to these potential solutions through Michigan Central – this is just the start of what this development can do not just for us but for others working on the same challenges around the country.”

Five Companies To Form Backbone Of Mobility Studio

As mentioned, the Mobility Studio is an umbrella effort, and the lead parts in this figurative umbrella are five companies that Ford and NewLab chose. They are EVPassport, Autofleet, Fermata Energy. Rhombus Energy Solutions, and SparkCharge with each one performing a specific role in the Mobility Studio.

As time goes by, the studio will allow these five companies to hone and refine their respective ideas under one roof, which will ultimately benefit all parties in the long run, especially as they look to stay ahead of the competition in the rapidly evolving EV segment.

Photos: Ford Motor Company

Carl Malek has been an automotive journalist for over 10 years. In addition to his specialization with Ford, he grew up in a General Motors household and is extensively familiar with their products too. Contact Carl on Twitter at @CarlMalek3, on Instagram and Facebook for automotive news to send news tips.


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