Ford Pro have announced the launch of Ford Pro Charging, a comprehensive solution for commercial electric vehicle charging. While more commercial customers want to switch the transition from all internal combustion-powered fleets can be complex.
Many customers understand that electric vehicles reduce maintenance costs, minimise emissions and drive down the total cost of ownership but many other variables need to be accounted for.
Ford Pro Charging is designed to help ease this transition by delivering intuitive software and commercial hardware infrastructure to support charging and energy management.
Ted Cannis, Ford Pro CEO, said: “Customers are saying they want the E-Transit and F-150 Lightning Pro but wonder how they’re going to charge and operate them efficiently once they’re in their fleet?”
“They are depending on us to provide the electric vehicles and the integrated solutions designed for EVs that they need for charging and connectivity.
“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.”
Commercial vehicles spend extended amounts of time on the road often hauling heavy loads and the energy use needs to be managed carefully. Understanding fleet operations while balancing the demand for energy gets to the bedrock of the Ford Pro Charging advantage.
Data streams from today’s connected Ford commercial vehicles have been used to predict and manage the operational needs of electrified fleets.
Ford Pro Charging creates a crucial bridge to the future with software analysing how each fleet operates and can precisely orchestrate charging management based on those behaviours.
Most importantly, the technology solves meaningful problems for customers, such as determining the optimal times to charge based on energy rates.
Muffi Ghadiali, head of Ford Pro Charging, said: “Our current fleet of connected vehicles allow us to learn from existing fleet behaviours so we can build the right infrastructure and the right charge management software.
“Let’s say the customer fleet returns around 10pm planning to go back out starting at 5am You have a limited window for charging and have to make charging decisions in a highly dynamic environment.
“Does every vehicle need to be fully charged? Can we balance charge power against the available charging window to take advantage of low overnight energy rates? Ford Pro Charging accounts for a multitude of variables and controls each charge station precisely to optimise energy costs and ensure vehicle uptime.”
Ford Pro Charging aims to be part of every fleet customer’s electrification journey. This starts on day one and continues through every step of the electrification process.
It identifies available incentives with Ford Pro consulting on the design and construction of optimal charging sites that can scale with fleet operations, while collaborating with local utility partners on energy and infrastructure needs.
Ford Pro Charging offers a turnkey solution starting with site review and design consultations to determine the number and type of chargers needed, plus a service to manage the installation of commercial-grade charging hardware.
Ford Pro expects the depot charging industry to grow to nearly 900,000 full-size trucks and vans in the US by 2030. While some fleets need the control and certainty of depot chargers ‘on company property, others may not have the business model or desire to invest in depot charging infrastructure.
Ford Pro Charging will have these customers covered, too. Customers have access to over 70,000 public charging ports, with over 3,200 DC fast charging stations (over 7,300 plugs) and growing on the nationwide Blue Oval Charging Network.
For fleet drivers needing to charge overnight at home, Ford Pro offers a complete solution from home charger installation to software capabilities for tracking, reporting and simplifying driver reimbursement.
Taking an open-standards approach, Ford Pro Charging is designed to interoperate with electric vehicles from a multitude of OEMs and vehicle classes from forklifts to heavy-duty trucks. The software solution enables remote monitoring and management and can relay charge rate, optimal charge times and service alerts.
In conjunction with Ford Pro E-Telematics, exclusive features such as battery pre-conditioning can maximise range and battery performance. Powerful insights and data are integrated into a seamless user experience for fleets, meaning 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 and E-Telematics solutions.
According to Ford, commercial customers turnover between 10-15 percent of their fleet each year, so many will manage a mixed fleet of internal combustion engines vehicles and electric vehicles for a long time.
Ford Pro makes it easier for their 125,000 active US customers to operate their whole fleet as they add electric versions of the Transit and F-150 to their existing fleet. This includes small and medium businesses and local government customers that are often overlooked and underserved.
Ford Pro aims to deliver solutions to commercial customers of all sizes to help increase fleet productivity, improve uptime and lower operating costs through connected services and work-ready internal combustion and battery electric vehicles.