Tires

Pirelli used digital simulations to design the Scorpion ATR tires on the 2021 Ford F-150

The 2021 Ford F-150 is arriving at dealerships this winter.

Photo courtesy of Pirelli

Pirelli has tailor-made its new Scorpion ATR tires for the redesigned 2021 Ford F-150. The tire collaboration builds on the 20-year relationship between Ford and Pirelli with the result being a variety of tires for more than 15 Ford models.

The duo has been working for two and a half years to develop the tires. They've been put through a rigorous homologation process, which involved co-design, prototyping, industrialization phases, severe indoor testing as well as hundreds of hours of simulation and modelling.

This new version of the Scorpion ATR was designed to offer a maximum level of grip with improved rolling resistance. Its dedicated tread design reduces tire noise by up to tree decibels. The tread compound is made of a new generation of materials that provide secure wet handling and snow performance in addition to chamber of commerce weather.

Pirelli used advanced simulation and engineering tools to meet Ford's tire specification targets. According to the tire manufacturer, "This digital and collaborative design approach significantly increased development speed and optimized tire performance, along with a reduction in the number of physical tires tested."

The Pirelli Scorpion ATR tires designed for the Ford F-150 are available in two sizes: 275/60R20 and 265/70R17.

Pirelli recently announced the development of a new tire lineup for the Rivian R1T and R1S. Those too are Scorpion tires, but in three different varieties: Scorpion Verde All Season, Scorpion Zero All Season, and Scorpion All Terrain. Those tires will be available in 20-, 21-, and 22-inch measurements.

This year, Pirelli cancelled its usual calendar, instead donating the money traditionally used for the production of the exclusive publication to the fight against COVID-19 and research into coronavirus.

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Biden will target 50 percent of all vehicle sales for EVs by 2030.

Ford

In the last several months, we've seen automakers from all corners of the globe commit to some degree of electrification by the end of the decade and beyond. That includes the American Big Three: Ford Motor Company, General Motors, and Stellantis (Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep, others). Today, President Joe Biden plans to throw his weight behind these efforts by signing an executive order that sets a goal of pushing the sales of zero-emissions vehicles to half of all vehicle sales in the U.S. by 2030.

Biden's target is not legally binding, but the industry is already jumping on board. In a joint statement, Ford, General Motors, and Stellantis confirmed that they aim to hit an EV sales volume of 40-50 percent annually. It's worth noting that the President's 50 percent goal and the automakers' sales targets also include plug-in hybrid vehicles, which still use a traditional gasoline engine.


Jeep PHEV The target also includes plug-in hybrid vehicles, which still use gas engines.Jeep


Auto unions and dealers are not opposed to the ambitious roadmaps laid out by the Big Three, but both have differing views on what is essential and how things will ultimately play out. While aware of the goals, the UAW is focused on wage growth and the preservation of jobs and benefits. It feels that an increase in EV production volume must happen here in the U.S. to include good-paying American union jobs.

Dealers, to a degree, are supportive of the goals but skeptical of their ultimate success. Some feel that electric vehicles do not present the earth-shattering shift in functionality and usability that other new products, such as smartphones, did in different industries. Regardless of concerns and skepticism, it appears that automakers are going all-in on the shift to electrification, so we're bound to see a wealth of new battery-electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles in the next few years.


GM battery facility rendering Automakers are pledging billions to increase EV and PHEV production volume.GM

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Research and development

Ford names site for battery development facility

Ford's new facility will house battery research and development.

Ford

Ford is in the news again for its electrification efforts, this time with the confirmation of a Michigan location for a new battery research and development facility in Romulus, Michigan. The facility may eventually help Ford in-source much of its EV supply chain, a shift that could prevent or mitigate the challenges presented by parts and technology shortages.

As part of its electrification initiative, the automaker plans to build a new research and development facility, called Ford Ion Park. The facility will house new tech research, pilot programs for new manufacturing techniques, and will help give Ford more control over its supply chain.


Ford Ion Park Once complete, the facility will initially house 200 engineers.Ford


The price tag for the new facility and related efforts lands at $185 million, which sounds like chump change for a global automaker until we consider that Ford has committed $30 billion to electrification by 2025. The automaker says that its new facility renews its dedication to Michigan as its home base for EV development, a promise it originally made back in 2010. The company's new electric F-150 Lightning pickup truck will be built in Dearborn, which will add 500 jobs. An additional 225 jobs will be retained at Ford's Dyke Electric Powertrain Center.

As part of Phase One of the project, Ford plans to hire 200 engineers within 18 months of the 270,000-square-foot facility's opening. Ironically, the site was previously owned by A123 Systems, a battery manufacturer that closed the facility in 2017 due to low demand for batteries.


Ford Ion Park Ford has committed $185 million to the new facility and related efforts.Ford

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