Ford already wowed us with the bi-directional 80-amp home charger the company announced for powering the F-150 Lightning electric pickup truck.
Now, Ford is rolling out a line of a half-dozen EV chargers for commercial customers that will help them keep their fleets and their employees’ and customers’ cars charged.
The charger family includes scalable Level 2 AC chargers as well as Level 3 DC fast chargers, ranging between 11.5 kilowatts and 180 kW in charging power.
In a survey that Ford commissioned, fleet managers responded to research and analytics consultancy PSB that the shift to electrification is causing great anxiety. Indeed, nearly half describe the setup of charging infrastructure to be a significant challenge for their companies, and nearly as many are concerned about finding optimal charging solutions, the survey found.
That’s why Ford is selling chargers directly. This will let buyers install complete electric vehicle charging systems using a turnkey solution from the company that built their fleet’s EVs as well as supporting EVs from other manufacturers.
“We are investing heavily in products and services to help commercial customers accelerate into an electric future, which means helping to ensure our hardware and software can plug and play with other manufacturers, as we know many customers operate mixed-make fleets,” said Ted Cannis, Ford Pro CEO. “These chargers can be completely customized to unique commercial environments and can work even better when paired together with Ford Pro electric vehicles and Telematics to enable OEM-grade data transparency.”
Showcasing how different users will require different types of chargers demonstrates Ford’s deeper thinking,” observed Sam Fiorani, Vice President ofGlobal Vehicle Forecasting for AutoForecast Solutions LLC.“Shifting to electric vehicles is not simply a powertrain change but will alter the connection between people and their vehicles, just like the smartphone has changed the way we look at communication,” he said.
“In the next two decades or so, home chargers will become as normal as central air; real estate listings will advertise built-in chargers just like any other home feature,” Fiorani predicted. “Plugging in an EV at night will be just as natural as plugging in an iPhone.”
Commercial customers will also benefit, thanks to chargers like these from Ford that are built with their needs in mind. “Where most private EV owners will probably not need more than two outlets, commercial users will need to find the best way to charge a fleet,” he said. “Having the ability to plug in dozens of vehicles and potentially scheduling the charging for best electricity usage could be beneficial to fleet operators. Through Ford Pro, the automaker can better appreciate the needs of these customers and provide better applications of hardware and software to maintain all of the necessary vehicles.”