Ford never stops innovating; it is reportedly working on the world's first intelligent plug-in hybrid vehicle system that communicates directly with a power grid. For a customized recharging method, plug-ins and EVs will someday interface with power suppliers.
Current prototypes allow for owners to schedule their car to recharge at specific timeframes, such as during off-peak hours or when the grid is powered by reusable energy.
Ford claims that the new system is controlled via navigation touch screen and is very user-friendly. This endeavor is still far from complete though, as progress is needed on both the automotive and power supplier ends. Along with its multiple partners, Ford is aiming to create a platform that will work with this intelligent vehicle system.
To test it, plans have been made to retrofit the technology on the Blue Oval's 21 plug-in Escapes used by a few government and corporate collaborators.
In addition, Ford revealed that it's hoping to introduce an all-electric Transit Connect van sometime next year and an EV Focus by 2011. A new plug-in hybrid and a 'next generation' hybrid will arrive a year later as well.
Ford is currently designing battery electric vehicles and plug-in hybrids that would most likely be what we will be using in the future. This statement was released by Greg Frenette, the manager of Battery Electric Vehicle Applications for Ford.
The company hopes that this technology will show that direct communication between the grid and vehicles is possible, especially is there is cooperation among automakers and the different utility companies, Frenette added.
For more than two years, the company and its partners have tested the plug-in hybrid fleet and have covered an excess of 75,000 miles. Research on the plug-in hybrid tends to focus on four main topics which are battery technology, grid infrastructure, vehicle systems, and customer usage.
Ford director for Sustainable Mobility Technologies Nancy Gioia shared that no car company will be able to commercialize electric transportation without help. Developing and manufacturing the actual vehicles is a part of electric transportation.
Gioia continued that the company is on the way to deliver the vehicles but in order for it to be accepted by more people, the infrastructure that supports this technology has to be in place while the company will also need to guarantee that when the electric demand increases, it can be supported by the national electric grid.