A three-year agreement between Ford Motor Company and the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI) is being developed to help facilitate the widespread adoption of plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs) by developing and evaluating technical approaches for integrating them into the nation’s electric grid system.
Ford Escape PHEVs will be tested by EPRI’s team of utilities in the New York-New Jersey region, followed by trials with the utilities’ customers.
First automotive manufacturer to work with the utility industry on PHEV advancements is Ford, which is also partnering with Southern California Edison (SCE). PHEVs are expected to negatively impact the electric grid system in different regions, as determined by the new EPRI-Ford program that builds on the ongoing Ford-SCE partnership.
EPRI’s program manager for Electric Transportation, Mark Duvall, says the partnership represents a concerted effort from the electric and transportation sectors to advance PHEVs. By making this effort, the utility industry can prepare for the introduction of PHEVs while accelerating the pace of development.
Ford has designed and is constructing 20 Escape PHEVs for use in the Los Angeles area under the EPRI-Ford agreement. Ford is evaluating and demonstrating the vehicles through Ford-SCE.
The EPRI partnership takes our collaboration to new heights with regard to plug-in electric vehicles, says Nancy Gioia, Ford’s Sustainable Mobility Technologies director. It’s hard to turn PHEVs into a commercial reality, especially since they’re so expensive. At the end of the day, they’ve got to be real value for consumers.
We’ll be able to develop common standards for accommodating PHEVs based on the evaluation and demonstration trials. It’s time to work together on Ford and SCE, Ed Kjaer, director of Electric Transportation at SCE. “Exploiting on what they’re doing will help the automotive and utility industries deal with the challenges of our transportation future,” he said.
An electric-drive car like a PHEV can help us achieve our national goals of energy security and climate change. During off-peak hours, they’d also make it easier for the nation’s electricity grid to be used more efficiently and cost-effectively.
Research and analysis on Ford PHEVs on EPRI, Ford, and SCE will include data from four primary areas: battery technology, vehicle systems, customer usage, and grid infrastructure. There’s also going to be an analysis of possibilities for stationary batteries and secondary uses.
Together, Ford, EPRI, and SCE are working together to understand how vehicles, homes, and grids work.
A research and development institute for the electric power industry, EPRI (www.epri.com) is the place to find out about technology, operation, and the environment. To meet the challenges of electricity generation, delivery, and use, including health, safety, and the environment, EPRI brings together its members, the institute’s scientists and engineers, along with experts from academia, industry, and other research centers. EPRI has offices and labs in Palo Alto, Calif., Charlotte, N.C., Knoxville, Tenn., and Lenox, Mass. Its members produce 90 percent of the electricity in the United States, and international participation includes forty countries.
Ford Motor Company is a global automaker based in Dearborn, Michigan. It makes and distributes cars on six continents and is a global leader in the automotive industry. About 230,000 people work at Ford Motors, Lincoln, Mercury, Volvo, and Mazda, among other brands, which include Ford, Lincoln, Mercury, and Volvo. Ford Motor Credit Company provides financial services. If you’d like to learn more about Ford’s products, click here.
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