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Ford Tests One of the Industry's First Vehicle-to-Grid Communication Systems

Ford Tests One of the Industry's First Vehicle-to-Grid Communication Systems

Weeks after scoring more than $90 million in stimulus funds to speed the development of electric vehicles and batteries, Ford Motor Co. announced new electric models and the testing of one of the industry’s first vehicle-to-electric grid communication and control systems.

The system is designed to use wireless networking to allow vehicle owners to schedule recharging at specific times and rates in order to make the process easy and convenient for consumers.

The company’s fleet of 21 plug-in hybrid electric vehicles will test the communications system, the first of which has been delivered to American Electric Power, one of Ford’s many utility partners working with the automaker to research battery technology, vehicle systems, customer usage and grid infrastructure.
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"Broad commercialization of electric transportation is not something a car company can achieve on its own," Nancy Gioia, Ford’s director of sustainable mobility technologies, explained in a prepared statement Tuesday. "Developing and producing the vehicles is just one part of the electric transportation equation. We are well on our way to delivering the vehicles, but for widespread adoption the infrastructure to support the technology needs to be in place and we need to ensure that the national electric grid can support increased electric demand."

Since 2007, Ford and its partners have undergone more than 75,000 miles of PHEV testing.

Ford also said Tuesday it will launch an all-electric Transit Connect commercial van in 2010, a battery electric Focus compact car a year later, and both a PHEV and new hybrid electric vehicle in 2012.

The U.S. Department of Energy selected a slew of organizations earlier this month to receive $2.4 billion in stimulus funds to accelerate electric car development. Ford will receive two grants totaling $92.7 million. One $30 million grant will go toward the company’s participation in demonstration and grid integration partnerships. A second $62.7 million grant will help fund electric-drive transaxle production at its Van Dyke transmission manufacturing plant.