Ford wants cities ready for EVs
Ford has announced that it starting to push cities and utility providers around the country to get ready for the massive roll out of EVs that is expected over the next few years. Ford has announced that it is working with its utility partners to be sure that metropolitan areas are ready for EVs to hit the electrical grid.
In some neighborhoods and areas, the utility companies will need to upgrade their transformers and operations to handle the additional draw of only a few EVs in a given area. The downside to this is that some utility firms will raise rates to offset the cost of upgrades meaning that you may be paying for part of someone's EV on your electric bill.
The reason Ford is pushing these upgrades is that it has the Focus Electric set to land later this year and the C-MAX energy plug-in hybrid coming in 2012. Ford is pushing a utility rate structure that will encourage drivers of EVs to charge off peak, which amounts to at night to reduce the demand on the electrical grid. Ford is also working with cities to do urban planning for the install of EV charging stations so that drivers can power up when they are out on the town.
“As more and more electric vehicles come to market, it’s incredibly important that cities develop action plans including infrastructure development and permitting solutions to ensure these vehicles are a viable solution for citizens,” said Mike Tinskey, Ford’s manager of Vehicle Electrification and Infrastructure. “Ford continues outreach with cities across the country to spread best practices and work with multiple partners including local utilities, auto manufacturers, technology companies and others to support a successful integration of electric vehicles.”
Ford is working with numerous cities to get ready for EVs including:
- Hartford, Conn
- Raleigh, N.C
- Austin, Texas
- Richmond, Va.
- Sacramento, Calif.
- San Diego
- Charlotte, N.C.
- Los Angeles
- San Francisco Bay Area
- New York
- Orlando, Fla.
- Washington, D.C.
- Portland, Ore.
“Our electric grid has plenty of capacity to support electric transportation. The key for local utilities is to offer incentives so EV customers are encouraged to charge during the nighttime hours when plenty of capacity is available,” said Tinskey. “Additionally, at a local level, we are encouraged many cities are taking an urban planning approach to public charge station locations – which will result in locations that are used more often and an efficient use of investment dollars. The best cities are learning from others and taking a best practices approach.”