Ford, Newlab Announce Five Cleaner Transportation Startups

Ken Zino of on Ford, Newlab Announce Five Cleaner Transportation Startups

The future is as blurry as the photo…

Ford Motor Company and Newlab, a self-proclaimed community of experts and innovators, today announced five startups that will participate in the inaugural cohort of the Mobility Studio. Mobility studio is a new program focused on supporting the advancement of technologies, product collaborations and business models that advance a cleaner transportation future. The program lives within Michigan Central, a new mobility innovation district being developed by Ford. (Ford Begins Construction at Michigan Central Station)

“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.

Newlab and Ford selected the following companies from a pool of global applicants to participate in the Mobility Studio’s first cohort and help address major challenges faced by fleets as they consider transitioning to electric vehicles, such as connected fleet management, supporting drivers at home, multi-use charging hubs and vehicle-to-everything applications:

  • Autofleet: Autofleet is a vehicle-as-a-service platform allowing companies, organizations and municipalities to optimize vehicle fleet management, launch new mobility services with their existing vehicles, and plan and design strategic shifts in operations, such as electrification. The platform centrally optimizes fleet operations, breaking the dependence on driver decision making, and is designed to achieve the benefits of an autonomous fleet, starting today with traditional vehicles. Autofleet has partnered with Avis-Budget Group, Zipcar, Revel and Keolis, and manages tens of thousands of vehicles in more than 12 countries.
  • EVPassport: EVPassport is an electric vehicle charging company that is establishing a distributed fleet charging network incorporating multi-unit dwellings through a cloud-based, application programming interface-driven hardware and software platform. Fleet owners can now pay for charging sessions at multiunit dwellings, while allowing drivers to charge any electric vehicle without requiring a separate app, account or top-up balance.
  • Fermata Energy: Fermata lets electric vehicles receive power from and provide power back to the grid and to buildings by integrating software and hardware options. It claims to turn electric vehicles into energy storage assets that combat climate change and lower cost of ownership.
  • Rhombus Energy Solutions: Dearborn, Michigan-based Rhombus develops new electric grid infrastructure, energy distribution and management systems to speed the adoption of electric vehicles. Rhombus builds bidirectional charging networks for electric passenger cars and high-power electric fleets – such as buses, garbage trucks and delivery vehicles – along with energy management software, power conversion, storage systems and microgrid applications to use clean energy distribution capabilities of electric vehicles.
  • SparkCharge: “Currently,” by SparkCharge, a charging-as-a-service platform, is a mobile, on-demand electric vehicle charging network “built to make charging easy while addressing gaps in the charging infrastructure.” Through the company’s mobile app, Currently, subscribers can have the charge delivered to their vehicle with SparkCharge’s portable, modular charging unit, The Roadie. Currently is operating in Dallas, Los Angeles and San Francisco, with plans to expand to several more cities. You can download Currently for both iOS and Android.
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