In a bid to promote the use of electric vehicles among its employees, Ford has turned to partner GE for help with setting up an electric charging infrastructure. The first facility to receive the new charges will be the company’s global headquarters located in Dearborn, Michigan. Eventually, Ford and GE plan to outfit all of the automaker’s facilities in the United States and Canada with the chargers.
Starting in March, new GE WattStation charging stations will be installed where employees can easily access them. The stations will be networked, allowing the automaker to monitor usage and better understand employee needs as it moves forward with installing the chargers at other facilities.
According to Ford, the number of charging stations throughout North America is growing by leaps and bounds. Today there are over 20,000 documented public charging stations on the continent, compared to only 3,000 back in 2009. More charging stations are planned in a variety of locations, meaning the number will only continue to rise.
Employees will be able to use the charging stations free of charge for four hours each day. The automaker believes the policy will involve more charging station sharing, hopefully doubling usage of the charging stations versus if employees were charged for their full usage.
“Ford’s commitment to sustainability extends beyond our fuel-efficient vehicles to include our daily workplace,” said Mike Tinskey, who is the Ford director of vehicle electrification and infrastructure. “We know that a growing electrified vehicle infrastructure is key to making plug-in vehicles a viable option for more consumers. Ford is committed to doing its part to help develop that infrastructure.”