As the nation moves toward electric cars and trucks, Ford Motor Co. today unveiled new touch-screen technology that will allow consumers to program when, how long and at what rate they wish to recharge their vehicles.
Ford, which showed the technology with several partners, including DTE Energy, Southern California Edison and Progress Energy of Raleigh, N.C., said that widespread adoption of plug-in electric vehicles is unlikely until vehicles can easily communicate with the electric grid — as they can with the new Ford technology.
Ford and several of its electric utility partners demonstrated a touch screen system that allows consumers to program when, how long and at what rate they wish to recharge their car.
“This has to be easy for our customer,” said Bill Ford Jr., Ford’s executive chairman. “This can’t be an interesting science experiment.”
Ford, in contrast to General Motors Co., has approached plug-in vehicles as one of many possible strategies to bring fuel-efficient vehicles to market.
Last week GM announced that its extended range electric Chevrolet Volt, scheduled to go on sale late next year, will be rated for 230 miles per gallon in city driving.
Ford acknowledged that the Dearborn automaker’s plan is more cautious than that of some automakers, but the Dearborn automaker seems to be taking a practical approach.
Next year, Ford will introduce an all-electric version of its Ford Transit Connect commercial van. That will be followed by an electric Ford Focus compact car in 2011, as well as a plug-in hybrid electric vehicle and a next-generation hybrid electric vehicle in 2012.
Ford will introduce an electric version of its Ford Transit Connect commercial van next year. Transit Connect will be followed in 2011 by an electric Ford Focus compact car in 2011, and a plug-in hybrid electric vehicle and a next-generation hybrid electric vehicle in 2012.