DETROIT, Sept 16 Ford Motor Co said on
Monday it will install charging stations at more than 50 of its
U.S. and Canadian offices and plants so that employees can
refill their electric vehicle batteries at work.
The second-largest U.S. automaker said it will start
installing the charging stations and their 200 chargers in
November, at nearly every Ford facility in the United States and
Canada, and roll them out through 2014.
"We know that a growing electrified vehicle infrastructure
is key to making plug-in vehicles a viable option for more
consumers," said Mike Tinskey, Ford global director of vehicle
electrification and infrastructure.
"We're trying to be on the leading edge of a trend to offer
employees the ability to have a second charge so they would
charge at night (at home) and then charge at work," he said in a
telephone interview. This would allow them to drive their cars'
in electric mode nearly all the time, he noted.
Employees will get free charging for the first four hours,
enough to top up a fully depleted battery on any Ford vehicle.
Tinskey did not disclose the installation costs for Ford.
Ford estimated it will cost the Detroit-area company about
50 cents to fully charge a vehicle, while saving each employee
up to $2 in gasoline a day.
Consumers have been slow to gravitate toward electric
vehicles (EVs) as a result of their high cost and fears about
driving range, but automakers continue to develop the technology
because it is seen as a primary driver in meeting rising
fuel-efficiency requirements globally. To further boost sales,
several automakers have slashed prices on their EVs in recent
While the number of public charging stations in the United
States and Canada has grown to more than 20,000 from 3,000 in
2009, the ability to charge at work is key for driving down
costs and making EVs more convenient, Tinskey said. The company
has no plans to install chargers in public places, he said.
Ford already has more than 1,700 charging stations at Ford
dealerships and company facilities in North America. The company
sells the all-electric Focus Electric as well as two plug-in
hybrids - the Fusion Energi and C-Max Energi.
Other automakers have EV charging stations as well.
General Motors Co, which sells the Chevrolet Volt
plug-in and all-electric Spark EV, has 795 charging stations at
its U.S. facilities, 395 of which can be accessed by the general
public. It has another 4,300 stations at its U.S. dealerships.
Nissan Motor Co, which sells the all-electric Leaf,
has a total of more than 160 level 2 chargers and 10 quick
charging units installed at 12 of its major U.S. facilities, and
a total of more than 3,100 located at its U.S. dealerships. It
also has a dedicated team of employees that helps the Japanese
automaker invest with others to install stations at companies
and in communities.
Electric carmaker Tesla Motors has installed almost
30 superchargers in the United States and parts of Europe to
allow its customers to replenish their cars batteries quickly on