Order for C-Max Energi Cars Is Ford’s Biggest Ever
Ford and GE said Tuesday that GE will buy 2,000 Ford C-Max Energi plug-in hybrid electric vehicles, marking “Ford’s largest-ever plug-in electrified vehicle fleet sale.” It’s part of GE’s avowed commitment to convert half of its global fleet to alternative fuel vehicles.
Ford, in turn, will promotes GE WattStation brand EV chargers – and its CNG In A Box compressed natural gas fueling stations.
The firms said they will work with researchers at Georgia Tech to study GE employee driving and charging habits, with the goal of improving all-electric driving and charging performance.
The addition of the Ford vehicles brings the number of alternative fuel vehicles in GE’s fleet to more than 5,000 in its goal of 25,000 vehicles, states the joint release.
“Ford is launching six new electrified vehicles – a big bet that fuel prices will continue rising and lead to more demand for advanced fuel-efficient vehicles,” Ford U.S. marketing, sales and service VP Ken Czubay says in the announcement. GE, he said, “is charting a similar course.”
Driver Habits Said ‘Key’
The Georgia Institute of Technology researchers will use Ford’s MyFord mobile app, which features real-time battery charge status and value charging that automatically recharges at lower-cost, off-peak electricity rates, to help track driver preferences and behavior.
“Understanding driving and charging habits is key to advancing vehicle and charging infrastructure,” said Bert Bras of the Sustainable Design & Manufacturing laboratory at Georgia Tech. “Through access to vehicle data, we can accelerate research and development of new technologies to further improve efficiency, driver satisfaction and environmental benefits.”
Study findings will be shared with commercial customers to provide insights and help facilitate deployment of electric vehicles in their own fleets amid a growing electric vehicle infrastructure that now includes more than 10,000 public charging stations across the country, the companies say.
Ford notes that the C-Max Energi joins the C-Max Hybrid as part of Ford’s first hybrid-only dedicated line of vehicles. C-Max Hybrid, available in dealerships this fall, is America’s most fuel-efficient hybrid utility vehicle, Ford says, with U.S. EPA ratings of 47 miles per gallon city, 47 mpg highway, and 47 mpg combined.
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Source: Ford and GE and Georgia Tech with Fleets & Fuels follow-up