Ford has two electric vehicles in the pipeline – the e-transit truck and the F-150 Lighting Pro – for commercial customers. The automaker is now rounding off its future EV business with the acquisition of the battery management and fleet monitoring software startup Electriphi.
Terms of the acquisition were not disclosed. Ford is betting that the software developed by the three-year-old San Francisco start-up will help generate more than $ 1 billion in revenue by 2030 just from charging. Ford Pro has financial ambitions that go beyond charging. The division expects to have $ 45 billion in hardware and related and new services revenue by 2025, up from $ 27 billion in 2019.
Electriphi and its team of 30 will be incorporated into the re-branded Ford Pro business unit, which will focus on providing services to commercial customers of its electric transit van and F-150 Lightning Pro pickup truck. Ford will begin delivering E-Transit to customers later this year. The F-150 Lightning Pro, a commercial version of the fully electric Lightning pickup, is due to hit the market in spring 2022.
“When commercial customers add electric vehicles to their fleets, they want depot charging options to ensure they are powered and ready to go every day,” said Ted Cannis, CEO of Ford Pro. “With Electriphi’s existing advanced technology IP in the Ford Pro electric vehicle and service portfolio, we will improve the experience for commercial customers and be a one-stop solution for fleet depot charging.”
Electriphi was launched in 2018 when it became clear that upcoming state and federal mandates would push heavy duty vehicles and midsize commercial fleets towards electrification, Co-Founder and CEO Muffi Ghadiali said in a recent interview with TechCrunch. The company has focused on segments using commercial electric vehicles in the US and internationally, a list that includes school buses and transit buses.
“If you just think about what’s going to happen in the next 10 years – it’s a massive mobility transformation for energy and software,” said Ghadiali. “There is so much at stake and time is running out.” He noted that fleet operators are nervous about upcoming mandates that will require moving to zero-emission vehicles by the end of the decade. “To convert your entire fleet in 10 years, you have to start now; They say, ‘I need to make sure my fleet operations don’t skip a heartbeat while this transition is taking place.’ “
Ford first contacted Electriphi in early 2021. The startup had raised just $ 4.2 million at a valuation of about $ 11 million prior to the deal with the automaker.
While Ford is focused on expanding the software for E-Transit and Lightning Pro, it is possible that it will continue to serve Electriphi’s customer base.
“Interestingly, the underlying Ford platform, it turns out, is used in many different types of vehicles as well as school buses,” said Ghadiali. “That is why it is difficult to say in which segments we will not be represented because they are very relevant to our work. Our focus will of course be the large volume that the Ford will deliver next year. “