Ford Announces ‘Ford Pro Charging' to Help its Commercial Customers Manage Their EV Charging Needs
【Summary】Ford Motor Co announced the launch of a new service for its commercial EV customers called "Ford Pro Charging." It’s designed to be a comprehensive solution for commercial electric vehicle charging needs. Ford Pro Charging includes intuitive software and commercial hardware infrastructure to support charging and energy management to help companies make the switch to electric vehicles like the Ford F-150 Lightning and E-Transit van.
As many of the world's fleet operators make plans to add battery-powered zero emission vehicles, Ford Motor Co is building an entire ecosystem of commercial services designed to make its easier for businesses to manage their fleets of electric and connected Ford vehicles.
Just last week Ford announced "Ford Pro'', a new service to help support the needs of commercial fleet customers. The service includes maintenance options, EV charging managment, vehicle and driver behavior tracking, as well as the ability to manage vehicle health data remotely. Now Ford is adding EV charging services to Ford Pro for commercial customers.
Ford announced the launch of Ford Pro Charging. It's designed to be a comprehensive solution for commercial electric vehicle charging. Ford Pro Charging includes intuitive software and commercial hardware infrastructure to support charging and energy management to help companies make the switch to electric vehicles.
According to Ted Cannis, CEO of Ford Pro, customers are expressing strong interest in the fully electric E-Transit van and F-150 Lightning Pro pickup, but have concerns about how to charge the vehicles and operate them efficiently once deployed into service. Ford Pro Charging is designed to meet this need.
"They are depending on us to provide the electric vehicles and the integrated solutions designed for EVs that they need for charging and connectivity," said Cannis. "Ford Pro Charging is an industry-first solution that is focused on helping our customers plan for, operate and deploy charging solutions so they can reduce operating costs and improve efficiency."
Unlike electric passenger vehicles where charging needs are somewhat predictable over time, the charging needs of commercial electric vehicles can vary widely when carrying heavy loads or operating in colder temperatures. Therefore, energy needs of EVs need to be carefully managed, according to Ford.
Ford says that understanding fleet operations while balancing demand for energy is the bedrock of the Ford Pro Charging. The data collected from Ford's connected commercial vehicles will be leveraged to predict and manage the operational needs of electrified fleets.
Ford Pro Charging uses software that analyzes how each fleet operates and can precisely orchestrate charging management based on a variety of real-world conditions. The technology also helps customers determine the optimal times to charge their vehicles based on energy rates.
In conjunction with Ford Pro E-Telematics, features include battery preconditioning to help maximize range and battery performance. Customers can manage their vehicles and fleet operations with a single account that gives them access to the full suite of Ford Pro Charging management solutions.
"Our current fleet of connected vehicles allow us to learn from existing fleet behaviors so we can build the right infrastructure and the right charge management software," says Muffi Ghadiali, head of Ford Pro Charging. "Ford Pro Charging accounts for a multitude of variables and controls each charge station precisely to optimize energy costs and ensure vehicle uptime."
With Ford Pro Charging, electric and connected fleets can be managed from a single interface.
Ford Pro Charging is intended to be part of every fleet customer's transition to electrification, including setting up suitable EV charging infrastructure based on customer unique needs.
Ford Pro Charging offers a turnkey solution beginning with site review and design consultations to determine the number and type of chargers needed, plus service to manage installation of commercial-grade charging hardware. Ford is also collaborating with local utility partners on energy and infrastructure needs.
While EV adoption rates in the U.S. are currently around 4% of all vehicles sold, that number is expected to rise rapidly by 2030. Ford Pro expects the depot charging industry to grow to nearly 900,000 full-size trucks and vans in the U.S. by 2030.
To support the commercial EV fleets, Ford Pro Charging customers will also have access to over 70,000 public EV charging ports, with over 3,200 of the more powerful DC fast charging stations on Ford's nationwide Blue Oval Charging Network that will continue to expand.
Ford even thought of commercial customers that will charge their vehicles at home. Ford Pro offers a complete solution from home charger installation to software capabilities for tracking, reporting and software for simplifying driver reimbursement.
The 2022 F-150 Lightning Pro, which arrives in spring 2022, is the first-ever all-electric F-Series truck purpose-built for the commercial truck market. It will join Ford's E-Transit van in the growing lineup of work-ready EVs as the company expands into the commercial truck market.
The with the new Ford Pro and Ford Pro Charging commercial services, the automaker is ensuring that its new electric F-150 Lightning Pro will be ready to meet the needs of its commercial and fleet customers.
Demand for the electric F-150 Lightning pickup has also been strong on the consumer side.
Last week, Ford CEO, Jim Farley, said that the company was "approaching 200,000" reservations for the electric truck, which exceeds its initial production capacity. As a result, Ford had to temporarily stop taking reservations for the F-150 Lightning. Customers were able to reserve one by putting down a refundable $100 deposit for the vehicle.
Ford has not said how many F-150 Lightning and Lightning Pro models it plans to build in the first year of production, but said that it will double production for the vehicle's second model year to 80,000 units annually in 2024.
The F-150 Lightning Pro starts at $39,974.
Originally hailing from New Jersey, Eric is a automotive & technology reporter covering the high-tech industry here in Silicon Valley. He has over 15 years of automotive experience and a bachelors degree in computer science. These skills, combined with technical writing and news reporting, allows him to fully understand and identify new and innovative technologies in the auto industry and beyond. He has worked at Uber on self-driving cars and as a technical writer, helping people to understand and work with technology.
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