What is Ford IonBoost?

Christian Wardlaw | Jun 09, 2021

Taking a cue from its lineup of EcoBoost internal combustion engines fueled by gasoline, Ford is branding and marketing its upcoming electric vehicle battery systems IonBoost. The company announced the Ford IonBoost name when it outlined its Ford+ plan for the future during its 2021 Capital Markets Day event.

Electric Ford Bronco IonBoost Battery

Ford IonBoost Batteries - Find the best Ford deals!

Ford expects 40% of its new vehicle sales to be electric by 2030. To achieve that objective, the company is accelerating expenditures on electrification and will spend more than $30 billion on its initiatives by 2025.

Three core vehicles will form the foundation for Ford's electrification push. They include the F-150 Lightning pickup truck, Mustang Mach-E crossover SUV, and E-Transit cargo and passenger van. However, in 2025, Ford will launch two new modular electric vehicle platforms powered by batteries the company will develop and build in-house.

One new platform will be for rear-drive and all-wheel-drive passenger vehicles, while the other will serve as the building block for commercial vehicles. Both will feature Ford's new IonBoost batteries. 

Initially, they'll include IonBoost lithium-ion (for passenger vehicles) batteries and IonBoost Pro lithium iron phosphate (for commercial vehicles) batteries. Further into the future, new long-range, low-cost solid-state batteries developed with Solid Power will arrive. Ford owns an equity stake in Solid Power.

Ford has also created Ion Park near its headquarters in Michigan. It says more than 150 experts in battery chemistry, testing, and manufacturing are working with value-chain management professionals to find ways to increase battery range and lower costs.

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Ford has confirmed that one of its upcoming IonBoost EV platforms will form the basis for a forthcoming electrified Ford Explorer and Lincoln Aviator. Beyond announcing this application of IonBoost, Ford was coy about its upcoming EV product plans.

One Ford spokesperson said in a Tweet: "We will continue playing to our strengths and electrify our icons in high-volume segments that we dominate today." Among Ford's icon brands are the Bronco and Mustang.

Another spokesperson revealed that the RWD/AWD platform "will underpin a range of emotive vehicles slated for production between now and 2030," including "rugged SUVs." 

An image of a modular skateboard EV platform with an outline of a squared-off SUV with an exterior-hung spare tire accompanied this statement, seeming to confirm that the Bronco nameplate is one of the icons that Ford will electrify in the future.

What is Ford Pro? - Find the best Ford deals!

Another part of the Ford+ plan is Ford Pro, a new business unit that will assist and support commercial and government customers. Today that includes internal combustion engines, but as people and companies transition to electric, Ford Pro takes on extra significance. 

Customers choosing the E-Transit van, Ford F-150 Lightning Pro pickup, and the company's future electric commercial vehicles can leverage Ford Pro to bundle vehicle financing and charging solutions, install charging stations, optimize their electric fleets, obtain digital services, and more. 

Ford expects to grow its revenue in this area from $27 billion in 2019 to $45 billion in 2025.

Ford Expanding Connected Services, OTA Updates - Find the best Ford deals!

The ability to remotely perform over-the-air (OTA) software updates means Ford customers will increasingly be able to buy upgrades, new features, and subscribe to services over the lifetime of their vehicles.

Today, Ford owners have access to a Ford Pass smartphone app, while Lincoln owners can use a Lincoln Way app. Approximately one million of the automaker's existing vehicles allow OTA updates, but by 2028 there will be 33 million OTA-capable Fords and Lincolns on the road. That means the customer base for digital features and upgrades will grow exponentially.

Examples of how Ford can leverage OTA and connected services to drive revenue include the company's upcoming Level 2+ hands-free BlueCruise advanced driving assistance system (ADAS), which will require a paid subscription to use after an initial free trial period. Ford's integration of Apple, Amazon, Baidu, and Google platforms into its apps and vehicles is another possible way Ford plans to serve its owners. 

Ford anticipates that connected services will grow into a market worth $20 billion by 2030.

Summary - Find the best Ford deals!

Ford is not the only automaker planning branded EV and battery platforms, business units to address commercial and electric customers, and expanded connected services offerings. 

For example, General Motors is rolling out its Ultium Drive battery and electric motor drive systems, a counterpart to Ford IonBoost. The Cadillac Lyriq, Chevrolet Silverado EV, and GMC Hummer EV will be the first to get the new Ultium batteries. 

GM has also announced that its SuperCruise hands-free ADAS will require a subscription, and the automaker making its OnStar connected services platform available to anyone with a smartphone for a monthly fee. This decision completely decouples the services from the vehicle and makes everyone a potential GM customer. 

In any case, as more people choose electric vehicles that cost less to own, require less maintenance, and support OTA software updates, expect automakers to find ways to upsell customers and add revenue streams in much the way technology and media companies do.

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