Ford Pro Charging for management of battery-electric fleets
By Julian Buckley17 December 2021
Ford Pro has released details of a new service, Ford Pro Charging, intended to offer charge management hardware, software and related services for commercial customers running electric vehicle fleets.
Offered for all makes and vehicles sizes, Ford Pro Charging aims to provide an integrated end-to-end solution covering such areas as depot design, installation, operation, maintenance and support.
The system will support charging and energy management, allowing such functions as users switching between charging at depots, employee homes and public charging stations.
“Customers are saying, ‘We want the E-Transit and F-150 Lightning Pro, but how are we going to charge and operate them efficiently once they’re in our fleet?’” said Ted Cannis, CEO of Ford Pro.
“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.”
The software analyses how each fleet operates, precisely orchestrating charging management.
Data streams from existing connected Ford commercial vehicles was used to forecast and manage the operational needs of electric fleets.
Muffi Ghadiali, head of Ford Pro Charging, offered more details: “Let’s say the customer fleet returns around 10 pm, planning to go back out starting at 5 am. 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 optimize energy costs and ensure vehicle uptime,” he added.
For those customers not looking to invest in a dedicated charging station, Ford Pro Charging offers access to 70,000 public charging points in the US, including 3200 fast charging stations, through the Blue Oval Charging Network.
Ford Pro is forecasting that sales of full-size, battery-electric trucks and vans will reach 300,000 units per year by 2030. In addition, the company expects the depot charging industry in the US to reach 900,000 full-size trucks and vans by the same date.