Ford and Progress Energy announced Wednesday an EV partnership to prepare the Research Triangle area of North Carolina for the rollout of electric vehicles.
Ford and Progress Energy will work together to develop consumer outreach and education programs on electric vehicles as well as share information on charging needs and requirements to ensure the electrical grid can support the demand.
The companies also plan to work with state and local officials to address issues relating to the permitting and regulations that can support electric vehicle infrastructure. An easy charging station permitting process is considered one of the keys to electric vehicle acceptance.
Progress Energy is one of 10 utilities that have partnered with Ford to test 20 plug-in hybrid Ford Escapes to obtain data on durability, reliability and safety of the new battery technology.
Progress Energy is developing a charging station pilot program as part of a $200 million smart grid grant it received from the U.S. Department of Energy. This will include installing about 600 stations across the company’s territory in the Carolinas and Florida.
The partnership with Progress Energy was announced during Ford’s “Charging Into the Future – Ford’s Electric Vehicle Tour.” The 14-city tour promotes Ford’s electric vehicle strategy, educates consumers about what to expect from electrified automobiles and examines what is needed from the public and private sector to support this new technology.
The automaker plans to launch five hybrid, plug-in hybrid and electric vehicles on the market over the next two years. Ford will introduce the Transit Connect Electric small commercial van, the Ford Focus Electric, two third generation lithium-ion battery hybrids (2012) and a plug-in hybrid (2012).