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Ford is Launching the Largest EV Charging Network in the U.S.

Ford is Launching the Largest EV Charging Network in the U.S.

Author: Eric Walz   

One of the biggest concerns for drivers of electric vehicles is access to convenient places to charge their vehicles and the fear of running out of juice, or "range anxiety" is a hurdle to the mass adoption of EVs. The Ford Motor Company is investing up to $11.5 billion to electrify its vehicle lineup, so the company is taking steps to ensure its future EV customers have convenient access to charging.

Ford announced today is offering its electric vehicle customers access to North America's largest electric vehicle public charging network that includes more than 12,000 charging locations and more than 35,000 charge plugs, more than any other automaker the company says. 

The move is part of Ford's broader strategy to support the widespread adoption of electric vehicles, by addressing the main concerns of EV drivers—a seamless and simple charging experience. Ford aims to make EV charging at home as easy as charging a smartphone, which is where Ford says most EV drivers currently charge their vehicles.

"Among people who already own or want to purchase electric vehicles and plug-in hybrids, 48 percent say that a lack of charging stations is one of their main concerns," said Ted Cannis, Ford director of global electrification. "By offering industry-leading charging access we are dismantling those barriers, allowing more customers to confidently enjoy the benefits of owning an electric vehicle."

Drivers will be able to monitor and pay for a charging session using FordPass, the automaker's app that connects drivers to their vehicle using a smartphone. Using FordPass from a phone or the vehicle's on-screen dashboard, customers will be able to monitor charging at home, and locate and pay for one-stop charging at any FordPass Charging Network station.

Ford expects that many customers will choose an available Ford Connected Charge Station. The company said the higher powered 48-amp Ford Connected Charge Stations are a great solution for EV drivers with longer commutes.

Every Ford EV Will Include a Ford Mobile Charger

Ford also announced that its upcoming fully-electric Mustang-inspired SUV and every electric vehicle the company sells in the future will come standard with a Ford Mobile Charger, which is capable of charging on standard 120 volt household plug or a higher-voltage 240-volt electrical outlet often used for large household appliances like clothes dryers.

Using a 240 volt power source adds an estimated range of 22 miles per charging hour. Customers charging with a standard 120-volt electrical outlet gain around three miles of range of three miles per hour of charging.

Ford-Home-Charging.jpg

Ford is collaborating with E-commerce giant Amazon for all of its home EV charging installation services. Amazon Home Services provides upfront pricing estimates and the ability for Ford customers to schedule installation with a licensed electrician online.

"The fact that most of our customers will plug in at home is a key advantage to an all-electric vehicle," said Matt Stover, Ford director of charging, energy services and business development. "We will deliver a charging experience that is hassle-free whether you're at home or on-the-go."

Ford is providing two years of complimentary access to the 12,000 charging stations on the FordPass Charging Network for easy and convenient pay-as-you-drive charging. 

Ford is working with EV charging operator Greenlots to bring together multiple charging providers to develop and expand the FordPass Charging Network. 

The DC fast chargers on the network will be made available in collaboration with Electrify America. Electrify America is a subsidiary of Volkswagen and was formed as part of the restitution for VW's dieselgate scandal of 2015 to promote the adoption of EVs. Volkswagen is also partnering with Ford on a dedicated EV platform that both automakers will share.

"Electrify America is proud to provide Ford customers with access to our nationwide network of ultra-fast public chargers," said Giovanni Palazzo, president and CEO of Electrify America. "We are committed to advancing the adoption of electric vehicles, and value forward-thinking collaborations with automakers like Ford, that share a similar vision."

The 150-kilowatt DC fast chargers provided by Electrify America can add an estimated 47 miles of range in just 10 minutes. For longer trips, customers can charge their vehicle's battery to 80 percent full charge in 45 minutes using a DC fast charger.

The entire charging experience can be monitored using the FordPass app that syncs with their vehicle. Customers can set charging schedules and alerts at home. Drivers can also preheat or cool with vehicle by remotely turning on the climate control.

A key feature of FordPass is "Power My Trip", a GPS tool that assists drivers by continuously monitoring the vehicle's current state of charge and locating charging points along each route through the vehicle's on-screen dashboard.

The vehicle's infotainment display can alert a customer if a nearby charging is available or currently being used. FordPass will also identify points of interest, including restaurants, shopping centers, so customers can make the most of their time while charging their vehicles.

The FordPass app is available at no extra cost to Ford customers. The app can be downloaded through the Apple and Google Play stores.

Ford plans to have around 40 hybrid and electric vehicles in its model lineup by 2022, 16 of those will be fully-electric.

Eric Walz
Eric Walz
Originally hailing from New Jersey, Eric is a automotive & technology reporter covering the high-tech industry here in Silicon Valley. He has over 15 years of automotive experience and a bachelors degree in computer science. These skills, combined with technical writing and news reporting, allows him to fully understand and identify new and innovative technologies in the auto industry and beyond. He has worked at Uber on self-driving cars and as a technical writer, helping people to understand and work with technology.
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