Ford Motor Company and the City of Seattle today announced a partnership to help prepare the city for the operation of electric vehicles. Ford and the City of Seattle will work together to develop consumer outreach and education programs on electric vehicles as well as share information on charging needs and requirements to ensure the electrical grid can support the necessary demand.
“Ford will has a an aggressive plan to bring five new electrified vehicles to market over the next two years including the Transit Connect Electric later this year and the Focus battery electric in 2011,” said Mike Tinskey, Manager of Vehicle Electrification and Infrastructure, Ford Motor Company. “There is an incredible excitement for electric vehicles in Seattle. To support the roll out and acceptance of these vehicles in Seattle and across the country, it is important to work with local utilities to make sure the necessary infrastructure and demand on the grid are ready.”
The partnership between Ford and the City of Seattle, including municipally owned Seattle City Light, also involves working with the state and local governments around permitting, electric vehicle tax incentives and future legislations or regulations. Continued tax incentives as well as an easy charging station permitting process are both considered keys to electric vehicle acceptance in Seattle and across the country.
“I am pleased Seattle is working to support the environmental benefits of electric vehicles,” Mayor Mike McGinn said. “We are working with Ford to better understand the needs these vehicles will have so we can provide local owners with excellent service to support electric cars.”
Seattle and Seattle City Light have been national leaders in promoting the use of electricity for personal transportation. Their efforts include:
--Participation in one of the country’s largest plug-in hybrid electric vehicle demonstration projects.
--A commitment to respond to home charging station permit applications within three business days. Winning $500,000 in ARRA funding through a Clean Cities Coalition grant, will enable the City to install at least 50 charging stations on public property.
--Seattle City Light’s fully offsetting its carbon emissions since 2005, the only large utility in the country to achieve carbon neutrality, which means electric cars charged in City Light’s service territory run totally clean.
The collaboration between Ford and the City of Seattle was announced during Ford’s “Charging Into the Future Tour.” The 14-city tour, which kicked off in Portland, Ore. earlier this week, promotes Ford’s electric vehicle strategy and educates consumers about what to expect from electrified automobiles and what is needed from the public and private sector to support this new technology.
Over the next two years, Ford will introduce the Transit Connect Electric small commercial van, the Ford Focus Electric passenger car, two third generation lithium-ion battery hybrids (2012) and a plug-in hybrid (2012).
These vehicles will achieve breakthrough efficiency; some, like the pure battery electric vehicles Ford Transit Connect Electric and Ford Focus Electric, will use no gasoline at all.
Electrification is an important piece of Ford’s overall product sustainability strategy that includes a range of fuel efficient and alternative fuel technologies including EcoBoost engines, six speed transmissions, power assisted steering, aerodynamic improvements and light weighting materials. Ford’s electrification strategy also leverages the most fuel-efficient powertrains, the most technically competent hybrids and our global vehicle platforms in order to develop affordable choices for consumers.