Ford generates headlines with proactive EV charging strategy

Ford is currently selling only one plug-in vehicle, the Fusion Plug-in Hybrid (formerly the Fusion Energi). The company’s Focus Electric and C-MAX Energi seem to have been swept away in the recent sedan massacre. However, the company is planning to introduce a “Mustang-inspired electric crossover” in 2020, and is working on an electric pickup truck.

Like other automakers, Ford understands that a perceived
lack of public charging stations is one of consumers’ top objections to going
electric. “Among people who already own or want to purchase electric vehicles
and plug-in hybrids, 48 percent say that a lack of charging stations is one of
their main concerns,” said Ted Cannis, Ford’s Director of Global
Electrification.

Ford hopes to nip those concerns in the bud, putting a charging
strategy in place well before its new plug-ins hit the streets.

All the company’s pure EVs will come standard with a Ford Mobile Charger, which is capable of both Level 1 and Level 2 charging. This is very cool – pretty much all EVs come with a Level 1 portable charging cable, but most drivers want Level 2 charging. Some may find that the Ford Mobile Charger is all they need. For those who crave the convenience of a dedicated home charging station, there’s the Ford Connected Charge Station.

Many automakers try to steer EV buyers to expensive, feature-rich stations that are overkill for most drivers, and it appears that Ford is following this trend. “Loaded with connectivity features, the higher powered 48-amp Ford Connected Charge Station enables full control no matter where customers are.” I’ve never understood how an EV owner benefits much from an internet-enabled charger, but automakers and utilities benefit by gathering data on customer charging behavior.

Ford will also offer two years of complimentary access to public
chargers from several existing charging networks, including Electrify America.
Charging solution provider Greenlots will create a roaming system that enables
Ford drivers to enjoy seamless access to over 12,000 charging stations in the
US and Canada (other charging networks are expected to join the project, so
this number is likely to be much larger by go time).

As is so often the case, credulous mainstream media took Ford’s
marketing material at face value, and reported that the company plans to offer “the
largest North American network of electric vehicle chargers of any automaker –
including Tesla.” Wow! that would be really impressive, if it were an accurate
description of what Ford is doing. However, as we understand it, Ford will not
be building any new EVSE, but rather allowing its customers easy (and temporarily
free) access to existing infrastructure.

Make no mistake, this and the other charging initiatives
Ford has announced are worthy undertakings, and should add to the attractions
of its upcoming EV offerings. And you have to hand it to Ford for a marketing
coup – the FordPass Charging Network has already generated a lot of positive
media coverage for little investment.

New DOE program to bring promising battery tech to commercialization

The US DOE has created a new program to help bring promising battery technologies that have been demonstrated at lab scale up to the level of maturity that can lead towards commercialization.

The Lab Investment Incubator Activity is designed to attract “funds-in” investment from the private sector to overcome the technology and engineering challenges that hinder these DOE lab-developed technologies.

Funds from the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy’s (EERE’s) Vehicle Technologies Office will be matched by private-sector investment through laboratory cooperative R&D agreements.

EERE’s Vehicle Technologies Office is working with three public-private partnerships to advance from lab scale to demonstration in large-format pouch cells. Each laboratory is focused on advancing a different battery innovation:

  • Oak Ridge National Laboratory, working with Sparkz, is advancing low-cobalt cathodes.
  • Argonne National Laboratory, working with Navitas, is focused on low-cobalt cathode and electrolyte additives.
  • Berkeley National Laboratory, working with Kraton, is advancing silicon anode materials and polymer anode binders.

Tesla says Gigafactory 3 production is ready and waiting for govt approval

The Chinese government recently reportedly gave Tesla authorization to start Model 3 production at Gigafactory 3, but a Tesla executive has now said that production is ready and they are waiting for the green light from the government. more…


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Source: Charge Forward

EGEB: Big Oil and Tobacco share PR and research tactics, Cornwall’s Eden Project pioneers a geothermal project, more

In today’s Electrek Green Energy Brief (EGEB):

  • Big Oil and Big Tobacco use the same tactics to mislead the public, says a new report.
  • Cornwall’s Eden Project and the EU launch a £16.8 million geothermal project.
  • Jane Fonda arrested for a second time for protesting the climate crisis and fossil fuels.
  • Global solar PV market will see “spectacular growth” over next five years

more…


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Source: Charge Forward

Mazda’s first EV will be called MX-30, first photo leaked

Mazda’s first EV is set to be unveiled at the Tokyo Motor Show on October 23.  In advance of that event, a photo has started to circulate on the internet that purports to show the vehicle in all its unveiled glory.

The photo seems to be taken from Japan Car Top magazine.  It labels the car as a “concept,” but the design is one we haven’t seen before and shows significant changes from prototypes that have been spotted testing.

more…


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Source: Charge Forward