Ford launches new EV charging project to help commercial customers become electric

Ford is launching a new project to help its commercial customers switch to electric cars by selling them for electric charging installation equipment and software management tools.

The automaker says it expects to sell over 300,000 electric vehicles to businesses and government agencies over the next decade. To help ease the transition, Ford is launching a new project, called Ford Pro Charging, to offer the necessary software and hardware to help charge their electric vehicles.

Ford’s commercial vehicles come with the automaker’s telematics software, which makes it easier for fleet owners to keep track of the location, charge status or health of their vehicles. This software helps commercial fleet operators figure out when, where and how often to charge their electric cars, depending on the types of energy being used. For example, a customer who uses an electric Ford F-150 Lighting Pro truck to haul materials may end up using more battery power than a Ford E-Transit van used for deliveries and may therefore need to charge more often.

Ford’s fleet software will also help operators tackle some of the more untraditional issues that may arise when switching to electric vehicles. For example, some workers take their fleet vehicles home at night, fill up the gas tank on their own, and get reimbursement from their employer. Ford has previously said it will help install home chargers for these workers, and is writing into the Navy’s software a way to let employers reimburse workers for the cost of charging at home.

“Let’s say the customer fleet returns around 10pm and plans to go out again from 5am,” said Muffi Ghadiali, head of Ford Pro Charging. “You have a limited charging window and have to make decisions about charging in a very dynamic environment. Should every vehicle be fully charged? Can we balance the charging power against the available charging window to take advantage of low energy prices overnight? Ford Pro Charging stands for a wealth of variables and controls each charging station precisely to optimize energy costs and ensure vehicle uptime. “

Ford Pro Charging customers will subscribe to the company’s software platform, which means Ford will be able to count on subscription fees as recurring revenue. The amount that each customer pays is based on the number of vehicles or charging ports they have in operation, as well as a number of other variables.

Ford will also help install charging stations, whether at a customer’s home or at a fleet depot. The company will install either AC or DC fast charging ports, depending on a customer’s needs. Ford said it works with a variety of suppliers, though a spokesman declined to give any charging company names.

Ford also declined to say how much money they plan to spend on this project. Earlier, the company said it would spend $ 29 billion on electric and autonomous vehicles by 2025. Ford expects to start shipping the F-150 Lightning Pro, its electric pickup truck aimed at commercial customers, and the E-Transit van in 2022.

The demand for commercial electric cars is likely to be huge over the course of the decade. Under the Biden administration, the federal government alone is likely to spend billions of dollars on buying hundreds of thousands of electric vehicles to fulfill the order to achieve CO2 neutrality by 2050.

EV charging has been a challenge for the entire automotive industry, including Ford. In 2019, the automaker introduced its FordPass network, claiming that EV owners would have access to 12,000 public chargers. But the branding made it seem as if Ford was launching its own version of Tesla’s Supercharger network, while actually tapping existing stations from companies like Electrify America. Earlier this year, the company stopped selling its Level 2 chargers for the Mustang Mach-E home after discovering that some were not working.

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