Ford Motor Company and Dominion Virginia Power on October 18 announced they are coordinating efforts to help prepare Virginia for the operation of electric vehicles. Ford and Dominion will work together to develop consumer outreach and education programs on electric vehicles as well as share information on charging needs and requirements to ensure the electrical grid can support the necessary demand.
“Over the next two years, Ford plans on bringing five new electrified vehicles to market including the Transit Connect Electric later this year and the Focus battery electric in late 2011,” said Nancy Gioia, global director of Electrification, Ford Motor Company. “We know there is an incredible excitement for electric vehicles in Virginia and across the country. To support the rollout and acceptance of these vehicles, it is crucial to work with local utilities, like Dominion, to make sure the necessary infrastructure is ready.”
Cooperation between Ford and Dominion also involves working with the state and local governments on the most efficient ways to bring EVs to the state of Virginia. Government support for infrastructure and an easy charging station permitting process are considered to be two key elements to electric vehicle acceptance in Virginia and across the country.
“Dominion Virginia Power is committed to ensuring electric vehicles flourish in the state of Virginia,” said Ken Barker, vice president, Customer Solutions & Energy Conservation, Dominion. “Our reliable electric system, along with responsible rates, will be key factors in the growth and adoption of electric vehicles among our customers. Electric vehicles will be an exciting part of our future at Dominion Virginia Power and we are ready for it.”
The collaboration between Ford and Dominion was announced during Ford’s “Charging into the Future Electric Vehicle Tour.” The 14-city tour, which kicked off at Portland State University in Portland, Ore., in August, promotes Ford’s electric vehicle strategy and educates consumers about what to expect from electrified automobiles and what is needed from the public and private sector to support this new technology.
Over the next two years, Ford will introduce five electrified vehicles. Later this year, Ford and its partner Azure Dynamics will introduce the Transit Connect Electric small commercial van. The Ford Focus Electric passenger car will be available in late 2011, followed by introductions of two third generation lithium-ion battery hybrids and a plug-in hybrid in 2012.
These vehicles will achieve breakthrough efficiency; some, like the pure battery electric vehicles Ford Transit Connect Electric and Focus Electric, will use no gasoline at all.
Electrification is an important piece of Ford’s overall product sustainability strategy that includes a range of fuel-efficient and alternative-fuel technologies such as EcoBoost™ engines, six-speed transmissions, power-assisted steering, aerodynamic improvements and light-weighting materials. Ford’s electrification strategy also leverages the most fuel-efficient powertrains, the most technically competent hybrids and global vehicle platforms to develop affordable choices for consumers.