DEARBORN — Ford Motor Co. Tuesday announced its largest ever plug-in electrified vehicle fleet sale, an order for 2,000 C-Max Energi plug-in hybrids from GE.
The purchase is part of GE’s commitment to convert half of its global fleet to alternative fuel vehicles.
C-Max Energi is America’s most fuel-efficient plug-in hybrid with a 108 MPGe city EPA rating and a 620-mile single-tank range that will benefit GE’s sales and service professionals, many who drive more mileage daily than average commuters.
Ford will promote GE’s WattStation charging station and CNG in a Box natural gas fueling station with its commercial buyers. Ford will also supply new alternative fuel vehicles for use at GE’s Vehicle Innovation Center.
The addition of the Ford vehicles brings the number of alternative fuel vehicles in GE’s fleet to more than 5,000 in its goal of 25,000 vehicles.
“Ford is launching six new electrified vehicles — a big bet that fuel prices will continue rising and lead to more demand for advanced fuel-efficient vehicles,” says Ken Czubay, Ford vice president for U.S. marketing, sales and service. “We are pleased to partner with GE, a company that is charting a similar course, to promote advanced technology and energy savings.”
Mark Vachon, vice president of “ecoimagination” at GE, said, “At GE, we are focused on providing our customers and our fleet with more economically and environmentally efficient vehicles. The Ford C-Max Energi plug-in hybrid is a great addition to our expanding fleet of alternative fuel vehicles.”
The two companies will also work with researchers from Georgia Institute of Technology to study GE employee driving and charging habits, with the goal of improving all-electric driving and charging performance. Researchers will use Ford’s MyFord Mobile app – with real-time battery charge status and value charging that automatically recharges at lower-cost, off-peak electricity rates.
“Understanding driving and charging habits is key to advancing vehicle and charging infrastructure,” says Professor Bert Bras of the Sustainable Design & Manufacturing laboratory at Georgia Tech. “Through access to vehicle data, we can accelerate research and development of new technologies to further improve efficiency, driver satisfaction and environmental benefits.”
Study findings will be shared with commercial customers to provide insights and help facilitate deployment of electric vehicles in their own fleets amid a growing electric vehicle infrastructure that now includes more than 10,000 public charging stations across the country.