Ford Motor Company has announced a collaboration with GE, in which the company will purchase 2,000 Ford C-MAX Energi plug-in hybrids for its fleet – Ford's largest-ever plug-in electrified vehicle fleet sale. Ford will also jointly market GE's alternative fuel infrastructure solutions.
For GE, the purchase of 2,000 Ford C-MAX Energi vehicles is another step in the company's initiative to convert half of its global fleet to alternative fuel vehicles as part of its commitment to ecomagination. The addition of the Ford vehicles brings the number of alternative fuel vehicles in GE's fleet to more than 5000 in its goal of 25,000 vehicles.
"Ford is launching six new electrified vehicles – a big bet that fuel prices will continue rising and lead to more demand for advanced fuel-efficient vehicles," says Ken Czubay, Ford vice president, U.S. Marketing, Sales and Service.
The two companies will also work with researchers from Georgia Institute of Technology to study GE employee driving and charging habits, with the goal of improving all-electric driving and charging performance. Researchers will use Ford's MyFord® Mobile app – with real-time battery charge status and value charging that automatically recharges at lower-cost, off-peak electricity rates.
"Understanding driving and charging habits is key to advancing vehicle and charging infrastructure," says Professor Bert Bras of the Sustainable Design & Manufacturing laboratory at Georgia Tech. "Through access to vehicle data, we can accelerate research and development of new technologies to further improve efficiency, driver satisfaction and environmental benefits."
Study findings will be shared with commercial customers to provide insights and help facilitate deployment of electric vehicles in their own fleets amid a growing electric vehicle infrastructure that now includes more than 10,000 public charging stations across the country.
With many Americans facing record gasoline prices, Ford is committed to deliver eight vehicles by year-end that deliver 40 mpg or more.
The all-new Ford C-MAX Energi is America's most fuel-efficient plug-in hybrid with an EPA- estimated 108 miles-per-gallon equivalent (MPGe) city rating and 100 MPGe combined rating. C-MAX Energi is expected to be America's most affordable plug-in hybrid with a starting price of $29,995, after federal tax credit and including destination and delivery costs.
The C-MAX Energi joins the C-MAX Hybrid as part of Ford's first hybrid-only dedicated line of vehicles. C-MAX Hybrid, available in dealerships this fall, is America's most fuel-efficient hybrid utility vehicle with EPA ratings of 47 mpg city, 47 mpg highway and 47 mpg combined.
The C-MAX hybrids are on sale now and part of Ford's strategy to deliver the power of choice for leading fuel economy across the lineup that includes six electrified vehicles. The other EVs are:
Ford will promote GE's WattStation charging station and CNG in a Box natural gas fueling station with its commercial customers. GE's WattStation is an easy-to-use electric vehicle charger that significantly decreases the time needed for vehicle charging. The WattStation uses smart grid technology and comes with an app that helps customers more easily locate vehicle electricity sources. GE's ecomagination qualified CNG in a Box is a fully integrated CNG fueling supply system offering cost-effective plug-and-play simplicity for fleet and retail fueling stations seeking to offer CNG fuel.
Ford also will supply new alternative fuel vehicles for use at GE's Vehicle Innovation Center at the headquarters of GE's fleet management business in Eden Prairie, Minn. The Vehicle Innovation Center gives GE's commercial customers the opportunity to learn about and test-drive alternative fuel cars and trucks from a variety of manufacturers in a single location with assistance from GE's fleet, transportation, energy and advanced technology experts. Ford already has placed its pure electric Focus at the center.