Ford Pro — the division that specializes in commercial vehicles — and Stellantis both announced significant improvements to their EV charging networks this week. In a press release, Ford said it is making two new Series 2 AC charging station available to customers who use Ford electric commercial vehicles like the e-Transit and F-150 Lightning in their fleets. The 48 amp Series 2 charger costs $1,399 (before incentives) and the 80 amp Series 2 charger costs $1,999.
The company says the Series 2 charger is easier to use, service, and control. It has a detachable cable and connector, RFID reader, increased connectivity, and can be updated wirelessly as new charging protocols become available in the future. Ford is also expanding its fast charger network. Both the Series 2 AC charging units and its fast chargers are compatible with electric vehicles from other manufacturers as well.
The RFID reader controls access to the Series 2 chargers. Fleet operators can issue a unique Ford Pro RFID card that limits charging sessions to certain individuals or vehicles. By specifying which days and times are available for charging, the RFID allows fleet operators to access energy usage reports through Ford Pro’s charging management software.
The 80 amp Series 2 AC chargers will be ISO-15118 ready and equipped to handle over the air updates. LCD screens on the Series 2 chargers will display step by step instructions on how to begin charging as well as information about charge duration, fault alerts, energy usage, and more. Sensors will reduce charger output automatically if overheating occurs. The chargers are engineered to function from -40º to 122º F and at altitudes up to 3500 meters.
Ford Pro is also introducing new 180 kW and 240 kW DC fast chargers to give fleet operators and drivers more versatility at their workplace with more power and shortened charge times.
“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.”
Ford Pro’s BEV Fit team helps customers identify available incentives, assists with charging site design and construction, and collaborates with local utilities on energy needs.
Using Ford Pro charging solutions allows customers to charge more vehicles at a given time and can allow them to deploy more electric vehicles without needing to wait for an infrastructure upgrade. The software tracks performance and provides fleet managers with information about consumption of electricity, charging speeds, and available range. It also can track how much electricity drivers use to keep their work vehicles charged at home so they can be reimbursed by their employers.
Ford Pro delivers an always on, connected customer experience through its comprehensive information about the vehicles in a fleet, charging, software, financing and service for all commercial and government customers. Ford Pro has nearly 125,000 fleet customers across the U.S. and 140,000 in Europe.
Stellantis Boosts Dealer EV Charging
Stellantis says 50% of its new car sales will be electric vehicles by 2030. We know that battery-electric versions of its RAM ProMaster work van and 1500 pickup truck are in the works. The Dodge division is moving ahead with battery-electric versions of the iconic Charger and Challenger. Jeep is trying hard to electrify its lineup without compromising the essential qualities that make a Jeep a Jeep. There are even reports of a new EV sedan from Chrysler.
But the dealers who carry those brands aren’t ready, which has led Stellantis to partner with Charge Enterprises to get its 2600 dealers up to snuff in the charging department to be able to sell all those spiffy new EVs that will be rolling off the assembly line in years to come. Stellantis is already working with Future Energy, Vehya, and AGI to get chargers installed at its dealers.
Charge Enterprises says its management team has more than 150 years of automotive OEM expertise that will enable it to enhance the dealers’ experience and support the requirements to provide safe, reliable, scalable and flexible infrastructure implementation.
“As our partners in the automotive industry transition to electric-vehicle sales and service, our goal is to provide our 2,600 plus U.S. dealers with high quality options that meet their individual EV integration needs within every area of the dealership business,” said Jeff Kommor, head of US sales at Charge Enterprises in the US. “Charge is equipped with the automotive experience, client-centric approach and technical expertise needed to help support our dealers and make this implementation safe, reliable, scalable and flexible for future demands.”
As an experienced infrastructure partner, Charge’s client education, project management, design, engineering and installation will provide a full-service solution for dealers.
“All of the dealers we work with value our dedicated approach and our thoughtful mindset to delivering solutions today while preparing our clients for the EV infrastructure demands of tomorrow,” said Mark LaNeve, president of Charge Enterprises. “We remain committed to helping as many auto dealers throughout the country execute on much needed EV charging infrastructure as we remain focused on meeting the needs of the Stellantis dealer body, who are doing a great job meeting the needs of their customers.”
Stellantis is one of 7 leading automakers, including BMW Group, General Motors, Honda, Hyundai, Kia, and Mercedes, creating a joint venture to accelerate the transition to electric vehicles in North America, by making EV charging more convenient, accessible and reliable.
EV owners are realizing more and more that range is not as important as having access to reliable charging options. Once people know they can plug in when needed, range anxiety tends to become much less of a concern.
Ford seems to be taking the EV revolution more seriously than some of the other automakers, judging by the fact that it is the only one not whining loudly about the new auto emissions rules being proposed by the EPA.
Stellantis is still being dragged kicking and screaming into the future and its dealers seem disinterested in selling electric cars at all unless they are forced to. Hopefully, attitudes are changing and the new charging opportunities from Ford and Stellantis will help smooth the path of the EV revolution.
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