Ford Motor Company (NYSE:F) is partnering with General Electric Company (NYSE:GE) to supply vehicle charging stations at Ford facilities across the country. The project will be starting with facilities in and around its headquarters in Dearborn, Michigan. Interestingly, Ford and GE have been partnering since over 100 years ago on several projects when Henry Ford started Ford Motor Company and Thomas Edison started GE.
Ford Motor Company will be installing the GE WattStation charging stations across its campuses in North America and develop a workplace charging network at almost every Ford facility in the U.S. and Canada.
?Ford?s commitment to sustainability extends beyond our fuel-efficient vehicles to include our daily workplace,? stated Mike Tinskey, Ford director of vehicle electrification and infrastructure. ?We know that a growing electrified vehicle infrastructure is key to making plug-in vehicles a viable option for more consumers. Ford is committed to doing its part to help develop that infrastructure.?
Using the new charging network, Ford employees that commute to jobs from up to 21 miles away in plugin hybrid vehicles Fusion Energi and C-MAX Energi can drive entirely on electric power. The Fusion Energi and C-Max Energi have an EPS estimated MPG ratings of 44 city, 41 highway and 43 combined and have an EPA-estimated range of 21 miles electric. The Focus Electric has an EPA-estimated range of 76 miles on a full charge.
Ford will be installing electric vehicle charging stations at over 60 of its offices. The installation will start at Ford’s southeast Michigan facilities and roll out across other facilities throughout 2014. Currently, there are over 20,000 public and residential charging stations throughout North America. Ford’s charging service will be free for employees for the first four hours of charging each day.
Ford is asking employees to use the MyFord Mobile smartphone app to collect driving and charging information to help the company understand patterns and future product design. It is estimated to cost around 50 cents to fully charge each vehicle.
Ford’s WattStation charging station installation is different from other workplace charging installations because the units will be networked together. This way, Ford will be able to gather comprehensive information on electrified vehicle use such as the number of hours vehicles are charging and the amount of CO2 reduced.
General Electric and Ford are working with researchers from Georgia Institute of Technology to study GE’s fleet driving and charging habits to improve all-electric driving and charging performance. The Ford MyFord Mobile app shows drivers real-time battery charge status and a value charging option that can automatically scheduling charging at lower costs and off-peak electricity rates.
It is believed that Ford customers have logged 65 million all-electric miles, which is increasing at a rate of 290,000 electric miles per day. This saves over 4 million kilograms of CO2.
Henry Ford and Thomas Edison partnered with each other back in the late 1800s. Ford worked for the Edison Illuminating Company in Detroit and Thomas Edison co-founded General Electric in 1892. In 1896, Ford attended a lecture that was given by Edison. This inspired him to discuss ideas with Edison and they had a strong friendship for the rest of their lives. Ford had a strong interest in electric vehicles and bought two for his wife Clara in 1908 and 1914. They even installed a charging station in their garage. A few years after Ford Motor Company was founded in 1903, Ford and Edison started to experiment with electric vehicles using Edison batteries. These vehicles never entered the market, but it initiated a long-term relationship between the two manufacturing giants. GE bought 2,000 Ford C-Max Energi vehicles last fall.