It’s going to take several years for this to gain enough momentum to become a national initiative, but connecting all the incoming electric vehicles to the existing power grid—and into renewable energy resources—in the United States is going to be a whale of a job. Refill stations and power meters will need to be set up in all areas, and homes and businesses will need to be retrofitted with standardized electrical connections to accommodate these vehicles. Thus far, there are few standards for this need, and Ford is among the companies working to establish them.
Ford has four categories of electrified vehicles either on the roads or in development: EcoBoost (available now), Hybrid (now), Battery Electric (available by 2010) and Plug-In Hybrid (by 2012). At the recent San Francisco demonstration, the company rolled out an Escape Plug-In Hybrid and an all-electric Focus.
Ford’s Nancy Gioia (right) has a very unusual title: director of global electrification. Her role is to lead strategy and planning for the next generation of Ford’s global electric vehicle portfolio, touching all aspects of electrified transportation including product planning, supplier partnerships and collaboration with the energy industry and government.
Zero-emission buses like this one in downtown San Francisco have been in use for several years in major U.S. cities. Taxis are now following suit; corporate vehicle fleets are beginning to move over to low- and zero-emission models, and eventually more and more personal vehicles will do the same. Ford projects that 10 percent to 20 percent of the cars it sells by the year 2020 will be electrically powered. That may be a conservative number.