Ford and Honda Double Down on EV Charging Stations
On the same October day, Ford Motor Company and Honda separately announced they were adding 20 and 120 electric vehicle chargers, respectively, for employees to use in company parking facilities. The two automakers signaled a larger commitment to electrification ahead of California’s Drive the Dream 2015 while following up on plug-in promises of the recent past.
Ford’s October 15 statement revealed the automaker will add another score to the 145 charging stations in operation at company locations in the U.S. and Canada. On top of the 20 planned, Ford said it might increase the count if more employees begin charging at work. The vehicles most likely to be charged would be the Fusion Energi and C-MAX Energi models capable of 19 miles on electric power along with the low-volume Focus Electric.
At Honda headquarters in Torrance, Calif., the automaker is upping its commitment to electric mobility with the impressive investment in chargers for employees and a public DC fast charger for locals off the 405. Funded in part by the California Energy Commission, the project has already begun. A company statement said the fast charger will be fee-based and open in 2016.
In this case, Honda is largely planning ahead for the future. By 2018, the automaker promises both a plug-in hybrid EV and an all-electric car in its product lineup. Its past efforts in the segment have included the low-volume Fit EV and Accord plug-in hybrid, both compliance cars that are no longer in production. But that will change in the near future, and Honda plans to make the option of charging a vehicle possible today.
Both Honda and Ford are participating in the Drive the Dream 2015 events hosted by the California Plug-in Electric Vehicle Collaborative and attended by Governor Jerry Brown, a major proponent of clean vehicle advancement. This annual event aims to get workplaces to install EV chargers so employees can commute to and from work without burning gasoline.
Ford, the more experienced of the two automakers in the EV segment, will be represented at Drive the Dream by Cynthia Williams, the company’s associate director of environmental and regulatory planning. Williams will offer insight into Ford’s data culled from operating in the plug-in market, including the effectiveness of incentives in the purchase process.
Of course, both automakers are keen to retain the top talent within their companies, and increasing a commitment to electric vehicles is likely to appeal to candidates, especially in California locations where Honda operates in the U.S. In any event, the two companies are continuing to show progress they promised would come in electric mobility.