Ford is making sure its customers can take advantage of the rapidly growing electric vehicle infrastructure in the U.S. – now with more than 9,400 public charging stations – by equipping its electric vehicles with batteries that can charge in as little as 2.5 hours and offering an app that is updated daily and helps find nearby charging stations.
MyFord Mobile is an app developed by Ford engineers that can only be used with Ford Focus Electric and the soon-to-be-available C-MAX Energi and Fusion Energi plug-in hybrids. In addition to locating charging stations, the app allows customers to manage remote charging, view current battery status and plan trips.
The charging station locator is powered by MapQuest and provides important details about charging stations in close proximity to the owner’s vehicle, such as street address and hours of operation. Stations are popping up all over, too – from local grocery stores in Pittsburgh, churches in Austin, Texas, and hospitals in Portland to places like McDonald’s, Starbucks, Whole Foods, Walgreens, Target, Cracker Barrel and Walmart.
Up-to-date information is important because there are now 9,445 public stations in the U.S., according to current U.S. Department of Energy numbers. By comparison, there were about 2,500 public charging stations in the U.S. at the end of 2009.
Ford is introducing three plug-in electric vehicles that allow for quick charging at public charging stations.
Focus Electric – America’s most fuel-efficient compact that offers the equivalent of up to 110 miles per gallon (MPGe) city – is equipped with an advanced lithium-ion battery pack that can be fully charged in four hours, or about half the time of the Nissan Leaf.
C-MAX Energi plug-in hybrid – available this fall – will be able to recharge fully in two-and-a-half hours. C-MAX Energi is Ford’s first production plug-in hybrid, part of the company’s first hybrid-only dedicated line of vehicles, and now it is America’s most affordable plug-in hybrid. The vehicle is expected to deliver 95 MPGe, along with 550 miles of total range; its electric-only range is more than three times that of Toyota Prius plug-in hybrid per EPA testing methods. The all-new Fusion Energi, also a plug-in hybrid, is in the pipeline as well.
Public charging stations aren’t the only way electric and plug-in hybrids are charged.
J.R. DeShazo, director of UCLA’s Luskin Center for Innovation, says research shows charging a vehicle at home remains the most common method for charging. The center researches and reports on environmental and sustainability issues.
Ford has ensured customers who prefer to charge at home are able to do so by making available a 240-volt charger designed specifically for Ford vehicles and for use in a residential setting.
The availability of 240-volt chargers – public or private – is important because they allow for faster charging of the advanced lithium-ion batteries used in Ford’s newest electric vehicles.[wzslider height=”400″ lightbox=”true”]