On the surface, it looks like every EV has the same charging needs. At home or at a parking lot, it usually needs AC power, and the onboard charger does the rest. On the road, or at fast charging stations, the charger is actually a charger, and provides DC power directly to the battery cells in concert with the vehicle’s computer and sensors. Otherwise, electrons are electrons, right?
Some breaking news that came from Ford today challenges that assumption, though. According to the company, they’ve found that their commercial customers using vehicles like the E-Transit and F-150 Lightning have needs that differ from someone charging at home for a commute to the office. Today, Ford Pro, the commercial division of Ford Motor Company, announced new charging hardware as part of its comprehensive solutions. This addition aims to facilitate the transition of commercial fleets to electric vehicles, providing an easier and more efficient process for customers.
More About The Series 2 Charger
The new Series 2 AC Charging Station 80 amp and expanded DC Fast Charger options are specifically designed for commercial vehicle use. These charging solutions are equipped with advanced features. When combined with Ford Pro’s charging management software, they offer a fully integrated solution that simplifies EV charging for both Ford and non-Ford electric vehicles.
“We’re committed to helping businesses make the transition to electric easy with a single-minded focus on curated commercial charging solutions,” said Ted Cannis, Ford Pro CEO. “With our tailored EV consulting and portfolio of charging hardware and software solutions, we can design, implement and operate solutions for Ford and other brands that will last for many years to come. And we are not afraid to tell customers when electrification is not yet a good fit and support them with other solutions.”
The Series 2 AC Charging Station 80 Amp offers several features that aim to simplify and enhance the charging experience for fleet operators and their drivers.
One notable feature is the enhanced security provided by RFID technology. Fleet operators can control charger access by issuing unique Ford Pro RFID cards to individuals or vehicles. This helps ensure that only authorized personnel can use the charging station.
The charging station also boasts an improved detachable cable and connector design. This design reduces the need for costly charger repairs or replacements, saving both time and money for fleet operators.
In terms of connectivity, the Series 2 AC Charging Station offers a wide range of options. It can be connected via cellular, Wi-Fi, or Ethernet, catering to different locations with varying network coverage. This ensures that the charging station can be accessed and monitored reliably no matter where it is installed.
Another key feature of the Series 2 AC Charging Station is its ISO-15118 readiness. This means that it is compatible with advanced vehicle-to-charger communication functionalities, allowing for future capabilities and integrations.
During the charging process, drivers and operators will benefit from the LCD screen on the charging station. This screen provides step-by-step instructions and important information, making the charging process easy to understand and follow.
Safety is also a priority with this charging station. It is equipped with temperature sensors that monitor and detect overheating, ensuring safe charging operations. Additionally, the charging station is designed to operate in a wide range of temperatures and altitudes, accommodating diverse customer needs.
To further support fleet operators, the Series 2 AC Charging Station comes with a 3-year warranty on charger parts and labor. In addition, around-the-clock tech support is available to ensure maximum uptime and productivity for fleet operators.
Lastly, the Series 2 AC Charging Station integrates seamlessly with Ford Pro Telematics, chargers, software, and service. This comprehensive solution allows fleet operators to efficiently monitor their vehicle network and streamline operations.
A New DC Fast Charger For Fleets
Ford Pro is also introducing extended DC Fast Charger options in 180kW and 240kW. These chargers offer fleet operators and drivers increased versatility and shorter charge times. The aluminum pedestals now come with an enhanced cable retractor and a sleeker design. Pre-orders for the new Ford Pro DC Fast Chargers are available here.
These units are supposed to have a smaller footprint, and will also be able to charge two EVs simultaneously. Ford says they’ll be secure and protected from power theft like the 80-amp AC charger.
Software Helps Enhance The Experience
Ford Pro Chargers are designed to work seamlessly with Ford Pro’s smart charging software. This integrated solution ensures that vehicles are charged precisely when customers need them. Fleet managers can optimize charging schedules and locations, while also benefiting from utility reimbursement reporting. Home-based drivers will find this feature especially valuable.
By utilizing Ford Pro Charging solutions, customers can conveniently charge multiple vehicles simultaneously, without the need for infrastructure upgrades. The software also provides performance tracking, including kWh consumption, charge speed, and distance to empty. These insights empower fleet managers to optimize the total cost of ownership.
Businesses can lower their total cost of ownership by leveraging available incentives. Ford Pro has curated commercial incentives to simplify the process of finding tax credits for EVs, charging equipment, and installation costs. Visit https://www.fordpro.com/en-us/incentives/ for more information. Additionally, Ford Pro has partnered with Ernst & Young LLP (EY US) to provide customers with no-cost information on IRA tax credits.
The range of available incentives include:
- Up to a 30% federal tax credit on charging and installation costs
- Up to $7,500 back on each new qualified EV purchased in 2023
- Hundreds of federal, state, and local EV incentives and rebates
That offer of access to professional tax and financial advice alone is pretty neat, and could help many customers get over the buying hump and into an EV.
Expect To See More Companies Offer Customized Charger Offerings
So far, most of the charging market has been focused on two categories: home and public. Home chargers could be pressed into service for fleets, and public chargers could serve in that role, too, but nothing has really been built for the differing needs of fleets.
We’re very likely to see other categories of EV use, like various types of trucking, campgrounds, workplaces, and others get charging stations built specifically for their individual needs that could differ from each other. Creative businesses will make decent money providing for these specialized needs.
Featured image provided by Ford.
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