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August 29, 2023
3 Min Read
Ford Pro chargers work with Ford Pro’s smart charging software.Courtesy of Ford Pro.
The need for charging infrastructure tailored to electric commercial fleets is distinct from consumer-focused public charging for several crucial reasons. Commercial fleets operate on tight schedules and cover significant distances daily for delivery services, logistics, or public transportation. Hence, commercial charging solutions must prioritize speed and reliability. Fast-charging stations strategically located at depots or along routes can minimize downtime and keep these fleets operational. In contrast to consumer charging, which is mostly overnight or during leisure, commercial charging infrastructure must support high-volume, rapid charging to meet the demanding needs of businesses while considering the unique energy demands and cost implications specific to commercial fleet operations.
Ford Pro recognizes the distinctive requirements of commercial charging compared to public charging for consumers, and it has announced the addition of the Series 2 AC Charging Station at 80 amps and an expansion of DC Fast Charger options to its range of charging solutions. According to Ford Pro, in the realm of electric vehicle fleets, it's common for fleet operators to rely on private charging stations for 80% of their charging needs due to the predictable nature of commercial EV use. This predictability arises from routine routes, consistent mileage, and energy demands.
The Series 2 charger offers improved usability, serviceability, and control with features like a detachable cable and connector, RFID reader, enhanced connectivity, and readiness for future standards and over-the-air updates, including vehicle-to-charger communication. The charging software provides valuable insights for fleet managers, including data on kWh consumption, charging speed, and estimated range, aiding in optimizing the total cost of ownership.
“We’re committed to helping businesses make the transition to electric easy with a single-minded focus on curated commercial charging solutions,” stated 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 is also revealing extended DC Fast Charger options in 180kW and 240kW, giving fleet operators and their drivers more versatility at their workplace with more power and shortened charge times. The Series 2 AC Charging Station 80 amp comes with the following features:
Enhanced security with RFID that limits unwanted charger access. Fleet operators can issue a unique Ford Pro RFID card to control access to chargers, limiting charging sessions to specific individuals or vehicles by specifying days and times for access.
Improved detachable cable and connector reduces charger repair time and expense, avoiding replacing the entire charging station if a cable or connector is damaged.
Wide range of connectivity options with cellular pre-configured and optional Wi-Fi and Ethernet connectivity for locations with restricted cellular coverage.
The new Series 2 AC Charging Station 80 Amp will be ISO-15118 ready.
New LCD screen on the Series 2 charger displays step-by-step instructions to initiate charging and important information, including charge duration, fault alerts, energy usage, and more.
Temperature sensors to monitor and alert for overheating by derating the charger automatically.
Extended operating temperature range of -40C (-40F) to 50C (122F) and operating altitude of up to 3500m to serve the needs of customers in more places.
The evolution of charging infrastructure tailored to electric commercial fleets represents a pivotal step forward in the global shift toward sustainable transportation. As businesses increasingly embrace EVs, charging solutions' reliability, efficiency, and scalability become paramount. Understanding that commercial charging needs differ significantly from consumer-oriented options, companies like Ford Pro are acting by providing advanced, customizable charging stations and software solutions that reduce downtime and costs and contribute to a cleaner and greener future.
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