Mike Tinskey, Ford global director of vehicle electrification and infrastructure has been pretty busy lately. As the Ford Motor Company readies its electric car strategy, Mr. Tinskey has been preaching the company’s new plans, looking to move the ball forward. Ford now offers hybrid or electric options for several models and it plans to create an electric grid of chargers to support their customers nationally. Last June, Tinskey spoke at a California Energy Commission workshop and introduced the blue oval’s road to sustainable energy.
Ford already offers “electrified” vehicles, including Fusion Hybrid, Fusion Energi, C-Max Hybrid, C-Max Energi and Focus Electric. However, they don’t want to stop there. In 2013, Ford sold almost 90,000 of such vehicles, and as they aim for a bigger number this year they’re planning a power grid to support this growth. Thanks to its Vehicle-Grid Integration initiative, which will allow them to collect data on how electric vehicles are used and what commuting distances they travel, Ford will be in a position to offer charging stations in the specific areas where they’re needed. This fall, Ford will start a pilot program to demonstrate the need for the communication between vehicles and power suppliers.
The second component of Ford’s sustainable strategy depends on MyEnergi Lifestyle, a collaboration between the car manufacturer and Georgia Tech. MyEnergi Lifestyle is an ongoing experiment where a house is equipped with an electric vehicle, solar panels and new appliances, which result in lower CO2 emissions and bottom line savings for the homeowner. Data gathered from this collaboration has shown that if every home in the U.S. was equipped with such technology, the energy saving would amount to that of eliminating 26 million homes from the electric grid.
Additionally, Ford found that 90% of electric plug-in vehicle owners have a back-up gasoline car. To help reduce this number, the green energy team is proposing workplace charging stations, which is obvious since we spent 8 hours of our day at work.
Ford is also working on off-the-grid projects, which include electric vehicles equipped with solar panels that aim to eliminate refueling (or recharging) out of the equation. Thanks to its research initiatives and new direction towards a greener future, Ford today is a leader in the development of sustainable energy transportation. Ford’s plan to lower CO2 emissions globally begun with the introduction of smaller yet powerful gasoline engines, known as EcoBoost.
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