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Ford launches electric vehicle charging network for employees; hoping to increase number of all-electric trips

Ford Motor Company is installing a new workplace plug-in vehicle charging network at nearly every Ford facility in the US and Canada. Ford will install charging stations at more than 50 company offices, product development campuses and manufacturing facilities. Installation will begin later this year and roll out throughout 2014.

Ford employees will be able to charge the all-electric Focus Electric, as well as Ford’s two plug-in hybrids—the Fusion Energi and C-MAX Energi—at the charge stations. The service will initially be free to employees for the first four hours. Ford estimates it will cost the company about $0.50 fully to charge a vehicle.

Ford already has more than 1,700 charging stations at Ford dealerships and company facilities in North America. The new workplace chargers will add approximately 200 more.

Ford’s workplace EV chargers are different from competitor programs in that they will be networked together. As a result, the company will be able to gather additional information on electrified vehicle use, such as the number of hours vehicles are charging and the amount of CO2 reduced.

We’re getting data from the vehicles already. The data is telling us on average that the Energi products [Ford’s plug-in hybrids] are charging about six times per week. With that schedule of 6 times per week, that’s about 3 out of 4 daily trips on all electric.

Our hypothesis is...one of the reasons we are deploying these new stations...is that we likely will be able to get that fourth trip on all electric with workplace charging. The hope is that during the week, drivers can drive on electricity alone, and then if they go longer distances on the weekend, they can use the plug-in hybrid mode.

—Mike Tinskey, Ford director of electrification infrastructure

Throughout the US and Canada, the number of charge stations—both public and residential—is growing rapidly. In 2009, there were 3,000 known public charge stations. Today, there are more than 20,000.

Based on data from Ford’s MyFord Mobile app, Ford customers drive approximately 1 million miles on electricity alone every 10 days. In total, Ford customers now have logged 30 million all-electric miles driving the full range of plug-in vehicles, saving more than 1.2 million kilograms of CO2.

Ford posted its best yet retail US sales results for Fusion Energi and C-MAX Energi plug-in hybrid vehicles in August (600 and 621 units, respectively). That contributed to Ford’s best August electrified vehicle sales (including conventional hybrids and the Focus Electric) ever, with 8,292 vehicles sold, up 288% over the same period a year ago.

August also marked the 11th consecutive month Ford achieved electrified vehicle sales records. Nearly two-thirds of new Ford electrified vehicle sales are coming from buyers trading in other car brands.

Under Ford’s internal purchase plan for employees, about 200 Ford workers have purchased Energi plug-in cars, Tinskey said, with the current rate at about 15 per month. “Our thoughts are that with the announcement of the charging stations and deployment, that will go up even faster,” he added.

Comments

mahonj

It makes a lot of sense to put chargers at places of work as people tend to leave their cars there all day.
Thus, you could double the range of a PHEV or BEV, or reduce the depletion from (say) 60% to 30% and put less strain on the batteries.
It would make 50-70 mile commutes possible (though not maybe desirable) and so on.
If the chargers were "smart", they could be used to smooth out demand from the plant by turning off at times of maximum plant power needs.

Lucas

The lack of a recharging infrastructure, along with range limitations, will most certainly place a major handicap on the acceptance of Electric Vehicles.

Considering the effort that has been invested to date, I'm beginning to wonder if it is physically possible to store enough energy in batteries, as we know them today. Ten years ago I thought an on-board gen-set was the only way to go. I still think that.

The Chevy Volt is the only production vehicle that even comes close.

Dave R

The Model S with 85 kWh and 265 mi range doesn't have enough energy? It may not be cheap enough, but for sure it has enough energy for nearly everyone.

Anyway - workplace charging is great and I like Ford's approach of having the first 4 hours free.

I think the ideal workplace charging rate would put the price of charging slightly higher than charging at home (but cheaper than driving on the range extender) so that people don't unnecessarily use workplace charging, but otherwise don't hesitate to use it if they need it.

HarveyD

Since we have managed to modify the Jet Stream leading to major floods and drastic weather changes, this type of common sense action should become the norm to accelerate the transition to cleaner running vehicles.

At $0.50 per charge, good worthy firms should offer those charging facilities, free of charge, to all their employees driving PHEVs and/or BEVs

Governmental, para-governmental organisations, unions etc should lead the way.

Kit P

"Under Ford’s internal purchase plan for employees, about 200 Ford workers have purchased Energi plug-in cars, "

Not very many showing that most auto workers are smarter than E-P.

HarveyD

Resistance to change is very human like but futile?

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