Ford Motor Company Develops Smart Plug-in Electric Vehicles
Ford Motor Company is doing something incredible with the way its plug-in hybrid electric vehicles will recharge. The Ford Hybrids will be intelligent enough to talk directly with the nation’s electric grid. The vehicle-to-grid communications are part of a new intelligent control system that Ford is developing.
“Electric vehicles are an important element of our strategy for improving fuel economy and reducing CO2 emissions,” Ford’s executive chairman, Bill Ford, said in a statement. “This vehicle-to-grid communication technology is an important step in the journey toward the widespread commercialization of electric vehicles.”
The Ford Escape Plug-in Hybrid will eventually be equipped with the vehicle-to-grid communications technology. In fact, the first fleet has already been delivered to the American Electric Power of Columbus, Ohio. Other Ford utility partners will also be equipped with the new plug-in electric hybrid technology.
Here’s how the new system works. When your vehicle is plugged in, the battery systems will talk directly with the electric grid. This is all done by the vehicle’s touch screen navigation interface. You will be able to access the grid to choose when your electric vehicle or car should be recharged. Utility rates are cheaper during off-peak hours between midnight and early morning.
Once you have everything done from the touch screen navigation interface, the vehicle is recharged automatically at a time you specify. This is one of the reasons why Ford is calling it an intelligent smart meter, or communications system. In addition to recharging from home, Ford wants to make it easier to recharge vehicles at other locations.
Some of these other locations include a parking lot or a curbside station. The curbside stations will be available at many locations throughout metropolitan cities and local communities. These are also known as recharging, or refuel stations. They are no larger than a typical parking meter. Consumers can access the national grid by using these public fueling stations.
As the price of gas starts to rise again, consumers will appreciate a cheaper way to refuel their cars. It is only a matter of time before public charging stations are available in your community as utility companies are already preparing for the extra need for electricity. Ford Motor Company is already testing most of these services with new plug-in electric vehicles (PHEVs) and it’s only a matter of time before we see them in the showrooms.