Ahead of the launch of its new electric car, Ford announced its plan for electric car charging with partnerships with Greenlots and Amazon for home charging solutions.
Last year, Ford said that it was going “all-in” on EVs following the ousting of CEO Mark Fields and appointment of Jim Hackett.
Hackett formed a new internal team, called “Team Edison,” to oversee electric car programs. He also shifted one-third of internal combustion engine investments to electric cars, but the company is still investing more in the former than the latter.
It is expected to be unveiled at the LA Auto Show next month.
In the meantime, Ford is already making some moves to prepare for its electrification effort — starting with charging.
Ted Cannis, Ford director of global electrification, commented on charging:
Among people who already own or want to purchase electric vehicles and plug-in hybrids, 48% say that a lack of charging stations is one of their main concerns. By offering industry-leading charging access, we are dismantling those barriers, allowing more customers to confidently enjoy the benefits of owning an electric vehicle.
Here are the main points in Ford announcement today:
- 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.
The network with 12,000 stations is called “FordPass Charging Network,” and it consists of existing stations through a partnership with Greenlots and Electrify America.
Ford will supply a level 1/2 mobile charger with its electric vehicles, which owners could also use at home with a 14-50 outlet.
However, the automaker is also partnering with Amazon for home charging stations.
As we previously reported, Amazon has been seriously getting into electric car charging stations lately.
Amazon has been selling home and mobile charging stations for a long time. They now have over 100 products available.
Automakers like Audi and Kia have been partnering with the retail giant to oversee the sale and installation of charging stations for their buyers.
Ford is now adding itself to the list, and it said that it aims to make “EV home charging as easy as charging a smartphone, which is where most all-electric vehicle drivers currently charge.”
For home charging, the best solution is most often a simple 14-50 outlet plus the mobile charger that comes with the car if it enables 240-volt charging, which seems to be the case for Ford’s upcoming EVs.
The deal with Amazon makes sense for people who want a more robust home solution.
I have more of an issue with charging on the road.
It sounds like Ford is not planning its own network, but it will instead bundle other networks on Greenlots’ system to create some kind of roaming with the “FordPass Charging Network.”
Granted, it sounds easier than relying on a bunch of different accounts from third-party networks, but it’s still not as great as a dedicated charging network like Tesla’s Supercharger and Destination charging networks.
Furthermore, it sounds like Ford is planning to charge people to be part of the “FordPass Charging Network” since they say that cars will come with “two years of complimentary access.”
It sounds like after those two years, Ford EV owners are going to have to both pay for a “FordPass” and for charging at each station.
I am not a fan of this model.
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