Wants to Allow Plug-In Drivers’ Daily Use to be 100% Electric
Ford is advocating the installation of workplace chargers to boost the use of its plug-in models, asserting that the availability of electricity at jobsites could allow nearly all of the daily commuting usage of its two plug-in hybrid models to be fully battery electric.
Ford has opted for 7.6-kilowatt-hour lithium ion battery packs (with cells from Panasonic) for its Fusion Energi and C-Max Energi vehicles, yielding a no-gasoline range of about 21 miles. Driver data indicate that about three-quarters of trips made by the two models are all-electric trips, and that 84% are less than 21 miles, says Mike Tinskey, associate director for vehicle electrification and infrastructure with Ford.
The placement of chargers at the workplace could thus increase battery-only driving substantially, he says.
100% Electric Commutes
Ford said last month that it plans to install EV charging stations at more than 50 of its company offices, product development campuses and manufacturing facilities in the U.S., starting this year and continuing through 2014.
“Our hypothesis is that all of our employees will get all of their workplace miles from electricity,” Tinskey told F&F at the Verge sustainability conference in San Francisco Tuesday.
What’s in it for employers? Reversal of an overall and generally disheartening workplace trend. “This is a new employee benefit,” Tinskey says, and it’s cheap: electricity that costs 50¢ to 60¢, he says, could save an employee about $2 worth of gasoline.
30 Million All-Electric Ford Miles
Ford said too last month that it 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.
The company says that including its non-plug-in hybrids, it had its best U.S. electrified vehicle sales August ever with 8,292 vehicles sold, up 288 percent over the same period a year ago. It was the 11th consecutive month that Ford achieved electrified vehicle sales records.
Drivers of Ford EVs and plug-in hybrids have meanwhile logged more than 30 million all-electric miles.
Ford said Monday that it’s collaborating with cell manufacturers, suppliers, university researchers and startups at a new battery laboratory at the University of Michigan – and that it’s the only automaker to invest in the new facility – some $2.1 million, according to a University of Michigan release.
Work there “could accelerate development of battery-powered vehicles that are more efficient and affordable than today’s models and that go farther on a single charge,” Ford said.
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Source: Fleets & Fuels interview and Ford releases