Today Ford Motors has announced it has the largest electric car charging network in the world, with over 12,000 charging locations. Uh, blink blink, how did that happen? It did not come about by buying the Car Charging Group (owner of the Blink network), writing “blink blink” was simply one’s surprise at seeing such an announcement. Instead, Ford came about offering the “largest electric vehicle public charging network” by dint of a partnership with Greenlots and Electrify America.
Electrify America started as a project of Volkswagen USA. A few years ago the Volkswagen Group got caught up in a fraudulent scheme to rig emissions tests and thereby gain economic advantage from governments which gave special status and other benefits to VW’s TDI Diesel vehicles. As part of the settlement for that fraud case, VW is bankrolling Electrify America, Electrify Canada, and is making strong moves to having a full range of electric cars in its lineup. Ford on the other hand has made many statements over recent years about electrified vehicles, but has stuck primarily to its engines relying on fuel efficiency increases to cut its emissions footprint.
That word sure sounds like electric but as Ford, and other automakers use it, the word refers to any vehicle with any electric component in the drive train. In the press release below Ford says it is investing $11 billion in electrified vehicles through 2022, and that sure sounds like a lot of money, but they are using the word electrified not electric. Hence we should expect the biggest result of that $11 billion to be hybrid cars, in other words gas engines assisted with electric drive train components.
It seems that Ford does not currently offer an all-electric car to the public. In recent years its only all-electric offering was the Ford Focus Electric, which has perennially been one of the “also rans” in the USA electric vehicle market. Currently the Ford website shows the 2020 Fusion Hybrid, the 2020 Fusion PHEV, and the 2020 Explorer and the only way that vehicle deserves to be on this list is if it has an auto-stop-start pseudo-hybrid system.
At the same time this press release has a lot of good things to say about charging station products and charging network agreements made by Ford.
Ford offering high speed home charging
First – a home charging station with 48 amp charging capability. That’s well above what other automakers offer for the AC charging port. Coupled with that is a 48 amp network connected charging station, the Ford Connected Charge Station, meant for the home. At a 48 amps charging speed, the charging rate is well over 11 kiloWatts, and a car should gain 32-35 miles of range per hour of charging.
Most households are likely to have trouble with service panel capacity and might be unable to utilize such a high speed charging station without a service panel upgrade. To simplify this, Ford has partnered with Amazon Home Services to handle charging station installation.
This indicates that Ford is serious about high speed charging.
Another sign of this is the default charger to be sold with Ford all-electric vehicles. The Ford Mobile Charger is described as supporting 240 volt charging, and that it gives 22 miles range per hour of charging. The press release doesn’t say this, but it probably means this charger supports a 24 amp charging rate.
Ford’s massive public charging network – Greenlots, Electrify America
Now we get to the FordPass Charging Network. Ford says: “The FordPass Charging Network includes more than 12,000 charging stations with more than 35,000 plugs, making public chargers as common as some of the most popular pharmacy or coffee chains.” How did Ford build such a network without it becoming known to the public?
Ford did not build this network itself. Instead it is collaborating with Greenlots to “bring together multiple charging providers to develop the FordPass Charging Network, making it easy for customers to find and pay for charging all through FordPass or their vehicle’s screen” and that Ford and Greenlots will work to bring in other charging network partners in the future. In the meantime, they are working with Electrify America.
Reading between the lines it is clear that Ford is using Greenlots on an implementation of Hubject technology to enable an EV Charging Network roaming arrangement. That statement requires some explanation.
Hubject originated in Europe and is a system to allow charging station users to use any charging network (that is part of Hubject). It is widely recognized that a hurdle to electric vehicle adoption is the requirement that folks use and maintain memberships in multiple charging networks. Hubject aims to solve that by creating the interoperability between charging networks required to support payment settlements and cross-network authentication.
Last winter Electrify America announced an agreement with Hubject to collaborate on bringing that technology to America.
In my opinion this is what automakers should do. Automakers should not be in the business of owning refueling infrastructure. There is too much of a risk of an automaker asserting proprietary control if they own the refueling infrastructure for their cars.
What Ford is doing is to partner with the existing charging networks. That way everyone benefits equally, including owners of non-Ford electric cars. Some certain other automakers who profess to be all about pushing the general adoption of electric vehicles should be taking a similar approach. (Cough Cough)
But… Where is Ford’s electric vehicle for sale which can take advantage of all this?
It’s getting close to the Los Angeles Auto Show – at which most of the electric vehicle announcements have been made over the years. It is likely that Ford will have a big announcement to make there.
The press release discusses what any Mustang aficionado might take as an offense against Mustangs. For months now Ford has teased us with the car that’s mentioned in this release – the “Mustang-inspired SUV”. To which I, as the former owner of two Mustangs (a 1966 and 1967), am aghast. Mustang’s are not SUV’s.
With that out of the way… clearly Ford is planning an SUV that Ford wants us to associate with the Mustang that will have fast charging capability. For home charging they’re offering a 48 amp charger as discussed earlier, and the press release suggests it will handle 150 kiloWatt charging at Combo Charging System DC fast charging stations.
Specifically: “At a 150-kilowatt charger, customers can add an estimated 47 miles of range in 10 minutes and expect to return most of their vehicle’s charge in about the same time it takes them to grab a fast-casual meal.”
Electrify America’s press release adds information and confusion
Electrify America issued a companion press release, both of which are pasted in below.
EA goes further than Ford did and says the “Mustang-inspired SUV” will have a range of 300 miles. That is, Ford is targeting 300 miles as the EPA range for this vehicle, and that indeed it will support a 150 kiloWatt charge rate.
But the the EA press release then says: “Electrify America expects to install or have under development approximately 800 total charging station sites with about 3,500 chargers by December 2021.”
Uh.. where did Ford come up with the 11,500 charging locations it claims the Ford Pass network will encompass? Curious.. curious… presumably there’s another announcement in the wings?
Ford and Electrify America announcements
The following are the dual press releases issued by the two companies.
FORD INTRODUCES NORTH AMERICA’S LARGEST ELECTRIC VEHICLE CHARGING NETWORK
FORD INTRODUCES NORTH AMERICA’S LARGEST ELECTRIC VEHICLE CHARGING NETWORK, HELPING CUSTOMERS CONFIDENTLY SWITCH TO AN ALL-ELECTRIC LIFESTYLE
- Ford is offering its all-electric vehicle customers North America’s largest electric vehicle public charging network, with more than 12,000 places to charge, including fast charging, and more than 35,000 charge plugs – more than any other automotive manufacturer, addressing a big concern for those switching to all-electric cars
- New Ford all-electric vehicles, including the Mustang-inspired SUV arriving next year, will come standard with a Ford Mobile Charger that can charge regardless of outlet power (120- and 240-volt outlets); for those with longer commutes or who want greater peace of mind, a Ford Connected Charge Station can fully power a vehicle overnight while they sleep. Ford is collaborating with Amazon in the U.S. for all your installation services – from 240V outlets to the Ford Connected Charge Station
- Through FordPass on a mobile device or in each vehicle’s on-screen dashboard, customers will be able to monitor charging at home, and easily find and pay for easy, one-stop charging at FordPass Charging Network stations
DEARBORN, Mich., Oct. 17, 2019 – Ford is giving future all-electric vehicle customers the confidence to enjoy a hassle-free electric lifestyle. By providing easy access to more electric vehicle public charging stations in North America than any other automaker, Ford will make it easier for customers to find a place to charge when the company starts delivering new models next year.1
The Ford all-electric vehicle charging strategy features comprehensive at-home charging options and the nation’s largest network of public charging stations, including DC fast charging.2 And with both at-home and on-the-go charging powered by the FordPass app and in-vehicle screen, many customer hesitancies surrounding electric vehicle ownership are being addressed.3
“Among people who already own or want to purchase electric vehicles and plug-in hybrids, 48 percent say that a lack of charging stations is one of their main concerns,” said Ted Cannis, Ford director of global electrification. “By offering industry-leading charging access we are dismantling those barriers, allowing more customers to confidently enjoy the benefits of owning an electric vehicle.”
Ford has made EV home charging as easy as charging a smartphone, which is where most all-electric vehicle drivers currently charge.
Many Ford customers will choose an available Ford Connected Charge Station. Loaded with connectivity features, the higher powered 48-amp Ford Connected Charge Station enables full control no matter where customers are. It can fully power a vehicle overnight while they sleep, adding an estimated average range of 32 miles per charging hour.2 4 And it’s a great solution for those with longer commutes, customers who love connected features and for those who just want greater peace of mind.
Every Ford all-electric vehicle will come standard with a Ford Mobile Charger. It’s capable of charging on a higher-voltage 240-volt electrical outlet often used for large household appliances like a clothes dryer, which can add an estimated range of 22 miles per charging hour.2 4 Should customers ever need to use a standard 120-volt electrical outlet, that’s possible too and will result in an average range of three miles per charging hour.2 4
To make life easier, Ford has teamed up with Amazon Home Services to offer installation of home charging setups. Whether Ford customers need a 240-volt outlet installed or you choose the Ford Connected Charge Station option, they will be able to see upfront pricing estimates and schedule a licensed and vetted electrician online.
On the road, Ford has worked hard to ensure a hassle-free charging experience. Ford is providing two years of complimentary access5 to North America’s largest network – the FordPass Charging Network – for easy and convenient pay-as-you-drive charging. The FordPass Charging Network includes more than 12,000 charging stations with more than 35,000 plugs1, making public chargers as common as some of the most popular pharmacy or coffee chains.
Ford is working with Greenlots to bring together multiple charging providers to develop the FordPass Charging Network, making it easy for customers to find and pay for charging all through FordPass or their vehicle’s screen. Ford will work with Greenlots to explore adding additional networks to the FordPass Charging Network in the future for even further coverage.
In collaboration with Electrify America, the FordPass Charging Network will provide access to DC fast chargers, where charging an all-electric vehicle takes minutes, not hours. At a 150-kilowatt charger, customers can add an estimated 47 miles of range in 10 minutes and expect to return most of their vehicle’s charge in about the same time it takes them to grab a fast-casual meal.2
For longer trips, customers can charge their battery from 10 percent to 80 percent full charge in 45 minutes using an Electrify America DC fast charger.6
“The fact that most of our customers will plug in at home is a key advantage to an all-electric vehicle,” said Matt Stover, Ford director of charging, energy services and business development. “We will deliver a charging experience that is hassle-free whether you’re at home or on-the-go.”
Ford will keep electric vehicle drivers fully connected whether charging at home or on the road through the FordPass app2. Customers can set charging schedules and alerts at home and easily pre-condition their vehicle before they drive. While on the road, customers can be confident that Ford is providing the tools to help easily plan trips. A key feature within FordPass, and available through a vehicle’s on-screen dashboard, is FordPass Power My Trip, a tool that makes trip planning hassle-free by considering the vehicle’s current state of charge and identifying charging points along each route.1
FordPass or the vehicle’s on-screen dashboard will tell a customer whether a charging outlet is available or in use (if data is made available by a charge point operator). FordPass will also identify points of interest – such as restaurants or shopping centers – to make the most of customers’ time while charging their vehicle on the go.
Whether poolside, tableside or bedside, customers can track their vehicle’s charging progress through the FordPass app, available at no extra cost through the Apple and Google Play stores for any Ford customer.
Ford is investing $11.5 billion in electrified vehicles through 2022 and is focused on the customer journey from end to end, including education ahead of purchase, and an easy shopping and ownership experience.
1 Based on automotive manufacturers that sell all-electric vehicles and have publicly announced charging networks. Department of Energy data used.
²Range and charge time based on manufacturer computer engineering simulations and EPA-estimated range calculation methodology. The charging rate decreases as battery reaches full capacity. Individual results may vary based on peak charging times and battery state of charge. Actual vehicle range varies with conditions such as external elements, driving behaviors, vehicle maintenance, and lithium-ion battery age.
3 FordPass, compatible with select smartphone platforms, is available via a download. Message and data rates may apply. Ford Connect (standard on select vehicles) and complimentary Connected Service are required for remote features (See FordPass Terms for details). Connected service and features depend on compatible AT&T network availability. Evolving technology/cellular networks/vehicle capability may limit functionality and prevent operation of connected features. Connected service excludes Wi-Fi hotspot.
⁴In vehicles with the premium 300 mile extended-range configuration.
5Starts with original vehicle sales date (after which, fees may apply).
6Charge time based on manufacturer computer engineering simulations. The charging rate decreases as battery reaches full capacity. Your results may vary based on peak charging times and battery state of charge.
About Ford Motor Company
Ford Motor Company is a global company based in Dearborn, Michigan. The company designs, manufactures, markets and services a full line of Ford cars, trucks, SUVs, electrified vehicles and Lincoln luxury vehicles, provides financial services through Ford Motor Credit Company and is pursuing leadership positions in electrification, autonomous vehicles and mobility solutions. Ford employs approximately 194,000 people worldwide. For more information regarding Ford, its products and Ford Motor Credit Company, please visit corporate.ford.com.
ELECTRIFY AMERICA TO PROVIDE FORD’S FUTURE ALL-ELECTRIC VEHICLE OWNERS WITH ACCESS TO ULTRA-FAST PUBLIC CHARGING NETWORK
Electrify America’s latest collaboration with Ford Motor Company signals a growing industry commitment to electric vehicle adoption
Reston, VA (October 17, 2019) – Electrify America today announced an agreement with Ford Motor Company to provide ultra-fast public charging for their future electric vehicles on the Electrify America network. As part of the agreement, the automaker will provide future customers of its all-new, all-electric Mustang-inspired SUV with public fast charging capabilities through Electrify America’s growing charging network across the country.
Customers will be able to manage their charging plan through features of the company’s FordPass app, as well as through their vehicle’s touch screen, that will be supported by a comprehensive data feed from Electrify America. The FordPass app will provide real time location and charger status data to Ford EV drivers for Electrify America’s network of ultra-fast EV public chargers across highway and metro charging stations planned in 45 states and the District of Columbia.
Ford will be releasing its all-new, Mustang-inspired electric SUV, that aims to achieve a targeted EPA-estimated range of 300 miles. The vehicle’s 150kW charging ability will allow very quick charging speeds on Electrify America’s 150 to 350kW network. Ford estimates that its all-new, all-electric Mustang-inspired SUV will be capable to charge up to 47 miles in 10 minutes using Electrify America DC fast chargers, providing peace of mind for customers to be able to charge in minutes, not hours.
“Electrify America is proud to provide Ford customers with access to our nationwide network of ultra-fast public chargers,” said Giovanni Palazzo, president and CEO of Electrify America. “We are committed to advancing the adoption of electric vehicles, and value forward-thinking collaborations with automakers like Ford, that share a similar vision.”
“We are excited to be working with Electrify America given its powerful public charging network and impressive plans for expansion,” said Matt Stover, director of electric vehicle services, Ford Motor Company. “As part of our $11.5 billion investment in global electric vehicles, we are always working to differentiate our offerings for customers and look forward to providing owners with a premium charging experience and convenient access to Electrify America’s comprehensive network.”
Electrify America expects to install or have under development approximately 800 total charging station sites with about 3,500 chargers by December 2021. The company will expand to 45 states and the District of Columbia, including two cross-country routes and 29 major metros, delivering on its commitment to support increased zero emission vehicle (ZEV) adoption with a network that is comprehensive, technologically advanced and customer-friendly.
About Electrify America
Electrify America LLC, the largest, open and brand-neutral DC fast charging network in the U.S., is investing $2 billion over 10 years in Zero Emission Vehicle (ZEV) infrastructure, education and access. The investment will enable millions of Americans to discover the benefits of electric driving and support the build-out of a nationwide network of workplace, community and highway chargers that are convenient and reliable. Electrify America expects to install or have under development approximately 800 total charging station sites with about 3,500 chargers by December 2021. During this period, the company will be expanding to 29 metros and 45 states, including two cross-country routes, delivering on its commitment to support increased ZEV adoption with a network that is comprehensive, technologically advanced and customer-friendly. For more information, visit www.electrifyamerica.com. For media, visit www.media.electrifyamerica.com.
About Ford Motor Company
Ford Motor Company is a global company based in Dearborn, Michigan. The company designs, manufactures, markets and services a full line of Ford cars, trucks, SUVs, electrified vehicles and Lincoln luxury vehicles, provides financial services through Ford Motor Credit Company and is pursuing leadership positions in electrification, autonomous vehicles and mobility solutions. Ford employs approximately 196,000 people worldwide. For more information regarding Ford, its products and Ford Motor Credit Company, please visit www.corporate.ford.com.
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