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Ford working with Best Buy to offer 240V home charging station

Ford is working with consumer electronics leader Best Buy to offer a 240-volt home charging station for the Ford Focus Electric battery electric vehicle (earlier post) and future electric vehicles in the United States. Best Buy intends to sell the charging station and offer complete consultation and installation services through its Geek Squad subsidiary and third-party licensed electrical contractors.

After purchasing the all-electric vehicle, Focus Electric owners can work with their dealer to set up an installation appointment through Best Buy. Focus Electric charging stations also can be purchased through any of Best Buy’s nearly 1,200 stores nationwide or online. Since Best Buy’s Geek Squad is a fully owned, in-house service, customers can purchase the charging station and schedule installation from a single point of contact.

During the appointment, a Geek Squad agent will conduct a quick electrical audit to ensure the residence can support the 240-volt charging station. Once the residence passes the electrical audit, the Geek Squad agent will schedule a master electrician for a charging station installation.

The Ford Focus Electric charging station can be easily installed, replaced or upgraded without the use of tools due to its innovative design and mounting bracket. With the 240-volt home charging station, the Focus’s on-board 6.6-kilowatt charger allows for full charge at home in three to four hours.

Features of the Ford charging station include:

  • Nonpermanent installation: The charging unit plugs into a 240-volt outlet instead of being hard-wired into the electrical breaker box, making removal and replacement a simple unplug and plug back in operation in the event the owner moves.
  • Single point of contact for purchase and installation: Best Buy and Geek Squad will sell, deliver, install and service the home charging station, including contracting any additional home electrical needs for 240-volt service. Best Buy also will handle warranty and repair claims for the charging station.
  • Lower price: Based on current plans, the home charging station with standard installation is expected to retail for approximately $1,499, as much as 30 percent less than competitors’ systems.
  • Faster charging: With a maximum 32-amp charging capability, Focus Electric owners with the 240-volt home charging station can get a full charge in as little as three to four hours—charging in half the time as the Nissan Leaf.



$1500 sounds pretty steep...but running a 240v line to a garage isn't easy and may involve building permits and inspections.


You're (not your) right ejj. This unit is designed to plug into an existing dryer-type 220V outlet that some already have in their garage. Considering there is no hard wiring to the electrical box - the price seems steep.

Maybe by "standard installation" they mean to include an electrician hard wire to the box. Still, it seems high. The industry should look to establish a fixed install cost of around $500 for an electrician. The chargers, in volume will then come down to $500 - making the whole fast charge cost about $1k.


Reel$$ estimates could be correct two years from now when much lower cost imported kits are available. The problem remains with the installation labor cost.

1. A large group of qualified Chinese electricians (like we used to build early railroads) could certain force the installation price down. They could offer high quality standardized turnkey installations for a lot less then $1000.

2. Alternatively, local Unemployed qualified electricians could be used at a fix (recession) $20/hour rate as part of a return to work program.


Since new house construction is down, I would say that there may be quite a few electricians that could do the job at a reasonable price.


Yes SJC, especially if making two or three similar installations a week, at a fix low price (i.e. 8h x $20 = $160), becomes the way to get extended unemployment pay. With a low cost kit, the total installation would certainly be way below $1000.


Would these be compatible with the Volt or Leaf ?
That might expand the market a bit.


Let's hope it is compatible with every EV in or about to be in production, but I have my doubts. Competition does not lead to cooperation. When you are in a survival of the meanest battle, it is counter productive to help your enemy.


Any Level II charger should work on any EV/PHEV. However, the Volt limits its charge power to 3.5 kW - meaning it will take longer to recharge than either Leaf or the Focus.

Nick Lyons

Hmmm--I have a 240V outlet positioned perfectly at the center of the rear wall of my garage (need to check the breaker for amperage). Shouldn't I just be able to buy this thing and plug it in? Focus electric is starting to look like an interesting daily driver option. Price point is going to be the deal maker/breaker for us.


This is another reason to hope AC Propulsion becomes the powertrain supplier for more companies; the reductive charger isn't in addition to the car, it IS the car.


How much more would it cost to integrate a 240 VAC 4.0 Kwh charger in a PHEV? Could in be part of the on-board genset/inverter/controller? Could the on-board inverter/controller in a BEV be designed to act as a charger? Would the extra weight (if any) be a problem?


AC Propulsion's reductive charger goes up to 18 kW, no extra charge.


Tks for the info E-P. It seems the the AC Propulsion on-board inverter based bi-directional reductive 18 KW charger cost only $300 for the extra components used to reconfigure the e-car power system. That's less than 1/10 the cost of a dedicated equivalent charger.

All what is required to slow charge with this system is a 115 VAC outlet and a good power cord. Cost would be negligible.

For quick charges, a standard dryer or electric stove 240 VAC/50 Amps outlet + an appropriate power cord would do. That should not cost much more than $200 to $400 to install.

Being such a good common sense idea to lower cost and complexity, why the other electrified vehicles manufacturers have not used used it?

Potential electrified vehicle buyers should voice their preference and insist for the AC Propulsion solution, to avoid the high cost of a dedicated Level II charger.


In marketing, you look for expectations. Many potential buyers expect that you can just plug this thing in and when they find out it takes an expensive charger, the car company nor dealer does not offer it and you have to go to some big box store to buy one, they think twice.


Yes SJC, the majority would find pushing a simple power cord into a power outlet too complex and too demanding a task. Cordless charging systems are a must for USA regardless of their cost and efficiency. Parking the vehicle in the proper place will be the next challenge. Guiding rails may help.


If people are balking at the pricetag of a conductive charger, just wait till they see the bill for the wireless model on top of the option cost on the car!


The limitations of having a 110V system I guess. 240V is the standard in the UK and Europe for domestic electricity.


Scott, 240 VAC is too dangerous for our soft highly conductive hands. Secondly, 240 VAC wiring uses a lot less cooper and we cannot have that. The mining industries would not allow it. Our 115/120 VAC wiring is already insulated for 300+ volts. However, every house is equipped with 220/240 VAC for hot watter heaters, dryers and stoves. That's why adding a 220/240 VAC 50 Amps outlet in the garage is not a real challenge, specially in recent homes with 400 Amps distribution panel and meter.


One of the advantages of a market system is that the consumer decides. If people have one choice, to pay more than $1000 for what should be just an extension cord, then some will pay the price until someone else comes up with something better.


E-P. The majority will go for whatever requires the least effort, even if it cost more. Secondly, PR people will have a field day selling cordless systems since most everything is going cordless. We have to be up to date, at least as much as the neighbors!!! Cordless PHEVs/BEVs will be the IN thing by 2015 or so. America will not handle heavy (dirty) power cords. Think of our ladies' hands! The BEV would stay unplugged most of the time. Future charging points must be automated and cordless. That's minimum progress and standard.


Ladies' hands deal with gummy gas-pump nozzles all the time. It's silly to assume squeamishness about electric cords, and questionable to assume people will go for extra-cost options when they're increasingly price-sensitive.


They have few choices at the fueling station, they may have more choices in their garage.

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