Ford to Install GE WattStation Chargers at “Nearly Every” Ford Facility Nationwide

MAR 20 2014 BY ERIC LOVEDAY 27

Ford GE Wattstation

Ford to go Nationwide With GE Wattstation Charger Installs

Ford has announced that its ongoing effort to install work site charging stations is headed nationwide.

Pair of GE WattStation Chargers

Pair of GE WattStation Chargers

Ford has teamed with GE to install GE WattStation chargers at “nearly every” one of its facilities in the United States and Canada.

Ford says these employee-use chargers will be installed first in the metro-Detroit area and then at its various locations nationwide:

“Ford Motor Company in conjunction with GE, will supply vehicle charging stations at Ford facilities nationwide, beginning with facilities in and around its headquarters.”

“This month, Ford will begin installing GE WattStation™ charging stations across its North American campuses, developing a workplace charging network at nearly every Ford facility in the United States and Canada.”

We applaud Ford for becoming the first automaker to commit to this level of workplace charger installs.

Mike Tinskey, Ford director of vehicle electrification and infrastructure, remarked:

“Ford’s commitment to sustainability extends beyond our fuel-efficient vehicles to include our daily workplace.  We know that a growing electrified vehicle infrastructure is key to making plug-in vehicles a viable option for more consumers. Ford is committed to doing its part to help develop that infrastructure.”

Ford Plug-Ins on Display in Geneva

Ford Plug-Ins on Display in Geneva

Some highlights from Ford’s press release include:

2013 Ford Fusion Gets A Charge

2013 Ford Fusion Gets A Charge

With the new charging network, Ford employees commuting to their jobs from up to 21 miles away in plug-in hybrid vehicles – Fusion Energi and C-MAX Energi – may be able to drive entirely on electric power to and from work. Fusion Energi and C-MAX Energi have an EPA-estimated MPG ratings 44 city, 41 highway and 43 combined and have an EPA-estimated range of 21 miles electric. Drivers of the electric-only Focus Electric, which has an EPA-estimated range of 76 miles on a full charge, will have even more gas-free commuting potential*.

Ford plans to install electric vehicle charging stations at more than 60 of its offices, product development campuses and manufacturing facilities. Installation will begin at Ford’s southeast Michigan facilities and roll out across other facilities throughout 2014.

The Ford charging service will be free to employees for the first four hours of charging each day. By offering free charging, Ford is trying to encourage charging station sharing, enabling twice as many employees to charge at work for free.

Ford’s WattStation charging station installation differs from other workplace charging installations in that the units will be networked together. As a result, the company will be able to gather comprehensive information on electrified vehicle use, such as the number of hours vehicles are charging and the amount of carbon dioxide reduced. It can then use actual station data to plan for additional station installations.

And then there’s this on the 65-million electric miles achievement:

Ford's Lineup Of Electrified Vehicles

Ford’s Lineup Of Electrified Vehicles

Ford offers six electrified vehicles, including Focus Electric, C-MAX Energi and Fusion Energi plug-in hybrids, and C-MAX and Fusion hybrid vehicles.

Ford Fusion Energi and C-MAX Energi drivers typically make three of their four daily trips in all-electric mode, based on data from Ford’s MyFord Mobile app. It is estimated Ford customers now have logged 65 million all-electric miles, increasing at a rate of 290,000 electric miles per day, by driving the full range of plug-in vehicles, saving more than 4 million kilograms of CO2.

By adding another charge opportunity during the day at the workplace, it might be possible for employees to be able to accomplish all of their workweek trips without using gasoline.

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27 Comments on "Ford to Install GE WattStation Chargers at “Nearly Every” Ford Facility Nationwide"

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Good for Ford though it only applies to Ford facilities (and not dealers). Hopefully they will use this as a learning exercise to gain expertise in the siting and operation of EVSEs.

However, the cynic in me says this is just another me-too-be-green marketing statement. Probably costs them less than $100K.

Since the vehicles in question are level II charger plug-ins, I assume the GE chargers are level II chargers.

Yeah, 30 amps, guessing at 208 (You’d think someone would bother to supply 240 to these things to increase the capacity of them 14%, since I’m under the impression at least half the fords can charge at 6.6 kw, while the other things like the discontinued transit connect EV charged at 3.3 kw. – That vehicle being interesting in that it was obviously a conversion – you had no indication in the truck where the state of charge was until you unplugged the charger docking station).

I’m pretty sure all of the Ford dealerships already have chargers. So this won’t be any real help to anyone who doesn’t work at a Ford facility somewhere.

I also have to question the statement about “Ford being the first automaker to commit to this level of workplace charger installs.” What about Nissan and Tesla? Both companies have placed charging stations at their facilities.

With Ford employing 1/4-million people world-wide, having workplace charging could really help their plug-in sales. Getting Ford employees to go from an Explorer or Fusion to a Fusion Energi is a good thing, and it helps spread plug-in awareness even to those outside of the Ford family.

I wonder how many stations per location?

Also regarding this statement, “It is estimated Ford customers now have logged 65 million all-electric miles, increasing at a rate of 290,000 electric miles per day”; just for comparison’s sake, Chevy Volts are over 400 million EV miles and put on over 1 million/day.

In all fairness. The Volt has been around a lot longer than the Energi cars so there are more of them on the roads. The Focus Electric is such a low-volume car I doubt it makes too much of a dent. But at the rate Ford is selling plug-ins now, it won’t be long until they catch up.

I wasn’t making it a competition. Just putting some relevance/scale on it.

I think those GE pedestal watt stations are more attractive than the ChargePoint stations.

NPNS! SBF!
Volt#671

So this is in addition to the 200 new chargers Ford announced last year, adding to the 1,700 already installed at dealerships and Ford offices in the U.S.

This increase in workplace chargers could be tied to Ford’s ‘expected’ launch of several new plug-in vehicles in 2014.

1. Focus Energi
2. MKZ Energi
3. Edge Energi

With improvements in range and efficiency, along with a MSRP drop for the 2015 Focus Electric that should boost it’s sales.

MSRP drop on the Focus Electric? Do tell…

There is currently a $6,000 cash back on the 2014 Focus Electric. My speculation is that this big of cash back will be changed to a price cut for the 2015 like the $5,000 cash back for the 2013 Volt.
Was the 2014 $4,000 FFE cut preceded by a similar cash back offer on the 2013?

Let’s just say looking at Ford’s huge Cash Back incentive history with plug-in vehicles. Every deep discount, rolled into the MSRP at a new model year. Focus Electric previously had a $4,000 Cash Back offer for 2013, that rolled into the MSRP for MY2014. Fusion Energi had a $4,000 Cash Back for 2013, that rolled into the new MSRP for MY2014. C-MAX Energi has been holding on to a $2,500 or more Cash Back since early 2013, which means it’s time for a price drop also. But it should hit by the spring big sales season, as the new model year won’t start until December and sales need a boost. So expect a MSRP drop by $3,000 to $29,920. Focus Electric now has a $6,000 Cash Back leading into the launch of the refreshed 2015 model, that makes it more competitive. So the Cash Back should ride until the Fall launch of the 2015 model MSRP drop to an official $29,170. The reason I think Ford does this is residual values. Residual values are based on the MSRP, so offering Cash Back and holding the MSRP for an extra model year or two helps the consumer, and has a favorable… Read more »

If the C-Max Energi drops to $29,920, that will bring the price tag dangerously close to the Cmax Hybrid SEL. Unless, of course, they are planning to drop the price of that too.

If Ford wanted to provide the greatest utility, and get the most bang for the buck, they should also add 120V outlets (lots of them) at every employee parking lot.

Actually, it would be MUCH BETTER if they just installed a lot of 120V outlets in their parking places. They are much cheaper/easier to install. So if they put in a lot of them there will be no fighting over the chargers. And every car comes with a 120V EVSE.

Not to mention many (most? all?) the spots in the top picture have been ICEd.

Not really. At 120v it would take 6 hours to fully charge for 21 EV miles(3.3kw onboard charger), where even plugging in at 8am, the car would need to be plugged in past lunch break, and not enough time to fully charge after lunch.

With no option to fully charge a 76 mile EV that would take more than 12 hours to charge at 6.6kw.

Remember, this is FREE workplace charging, not convenience charging, and the goal is to fit a full charge into the scheduled work day, without negatively impacting productivity.

Not sure what type of facility this Ford establishment is, but if it is standard work facility I’d assume workers are expected to be unpaid at the cafeteria, so a 9 hour per car charge time at least would be typical.

This may be at least partially a political decision to be used in advertising (the more expensive ‘pedestal fancy’ wattstations look great in the advertising), but the fact remains both commercial utility customers, and the utilities themselves want the much more grid friendly 120 volt docking stations or outlets (where the driver provides his own cord), than 200 volt or even more grid hating DC fast chargers.

Both for demand charge fine mitigaton, and utiities seeking to minimize the peak loading, the smallest facility possible that will get the job done (or essentially done – beggers can’t be choosers) is the one that will be used by most businesses that aren’t getting political mileage out of the deal such as Ford is able to.

12 hours to charge at 6.6 kw? That’s like 79 kilowatt-hours in, almost what a Model S with the big battery option holds.

I think you meant 1.3 kw not 6.6 kw.

That’s using the 6.6kWh onboard charger of the Focus Electric, compared with the 3.3kWh onboard charger of the Energi models.

So watt?

Install some damn DC fast-chargers you jerks. Oh that’s right, you lazy bums haven’t put out a car that can even use a DC fast-charger. Ugh.

You sound like the type of person that would turn away free food because it isn’t served to you on a gold platter.

No, I’m just not going to be impressed by a company that makes at least 3 different plug-in vehicles finally deciding to offer its workers an ability to plug them in at work. That’s kinda like Apple saying they’ll let people charge up their iPhones at work.

Logistically L2 charging is better for the workplace.

The idea is the employees will plug in, go to work, and return 4 hours later(lunch) to unplug. Or plug in after lunch, and unplug after work. And leave for home fully charged…..for FREE!

If these are meant to satisfy the demands of workplace charging, plain ‘ol 120V outlets would be better, or perhaps a 70%/30% L1/L2 mixture. I hope a few are set aside for Ford customer charging, although, as a Leaf driver, I admit that I’ve charged at a Nissan dealer once, soon after I leased my car, 35k miles ago.

It’s interesting also that Ford and GE would cooperate like this, since Henry Ford and Thomas Edison considered building electric cars before WWI.

History doesn’t repeat itself, but it does rhyme – Mark Twain

Based on the image, it looks like Ford will be installing about 10 or more charging stations at each of the 60 locations, or over 600 charging stations just in 2014. Add that to the 200 already done nfor 2013, and the 1,700 at dealerships and other offices.

That’s about 2,500 L2 charging stations just in the US and Canada by end of 2014.

Even if next gen EVs offer 200 mile range, and Energi models offer 40 EV miles, the workplace chargers will still be able to load back the 40 to 80 miles of charge in 4 hours. More power necessary for the trip to work for most.

And at 200 EV miles, there would really be no ‘need’ to charge at work.