Proving the Business Case for the Internet of Things

Ford pilots EV wireless charging

William Payne
January 5, 2017
 
Ford Motor has announced a major electric vehicle push, with a range of new EV vehicle launches, a new plant in Michigan to manufacture EVs, and is piloting wireless technology for recharging electric vehicles.

The announcement of Ford's wireless charging pilot follows news of GM partnering with wireless charging firm Witricity.

The moves are part of a $4.5 billion investment in electrified vehicles by 2020. The company plans to be a leader in electrified and autonomous vehicles and providing new mobility solutions.

The company also plans to be as aggressive in developing global electrified vehicles services and solutions. These include EV fleet management, route planning and telematics solutions.
Applying approximately two decades of leadership in EVs and commercial vehicles, Ford also is working on a suite of services to make EVs even easier to live with.

“Innovative services can be as important to customers as the electrified vehicles themselves,” said Hau Thai-Tang, group vice president of Purchasing and Ford’s EV champion. “We are investing in solutions to help private customers as well as commercial fleet owners seamlessly incorporate these new vehicles and technologies into their lives.”

Ford already has a memorandum of understanding with several other automakers in Europe to create an ultra-fast charging network projected to be significantly faster than the most powerful charging system deployed today. An initial target of about 400 sites in Europe is planned. By 2020, consumers should have access to thousands of high-powered charging points.

Ford also is piloting wireless technology on company EVs in the U.S. and Europe that make recharging as easy as pulling into a parking spot so drivers never forget to recharge. Wireless recharging extends electric-only range for short distance commuters, even during quick stops. The company's FordPass smartphone app can help consumers reserve charging times.

Ford has been extensively studying how past and current EV owners use their vehicles. 

In studying 33,000 Ford EV owners that have made 58 million unique trips, Ford has learned: 88 percent of customers’ habitual daily driving distance is 60 miles or less. For plug-in hybrids, the average refueling distance is 680 miles, making gas station trips rare; customers want as much electric range as possible, but range anxiety drops over time as they become more comfortable and familiar with the technology; 80 percent of Ford EV customers charge once a day; 60 percent during evenings; Ford EV customers collectively have plugged in their vehicles a total of 9.4 million nights.