The auto industry is slowly wrapping its head around EV development and production, but annoyingly for the automakers, that’s only half the equation. Charging is one of the most significant hurdles left to cross on the way to widespread EV adoption, and automakers are scrambling to come up with solutions. To help its fleet customers stay charged, Ford Pro announced a line of commercial vehicle chargers designed to work with its existing telematics and charging software.
Options include 180- and 240-kW DC fast chargers and two Series 2 AC Charging Stations: 48-amp and 80-amp. Ford Pro’s AC charger gets a load of goodies that make powering an electric fleet much more convenient. It’s capable of operating in temperature extremes as cold as -40 Fahrenheit and as hot as 122 degrees, and the charger can throttle itself if it detects overheating. An RFID reader enables user management and security, and the system integrates with Ford Pro telematics software to provide vehicle tracking data.
The two DC fast chargers come with aluminum pedestals and an updated cable retractor that Ford Pro said gives the unit a “sleeker look.” They also work with the telematics features and can provide detailed data for utility reimbursement reporting. Without the need to build out a full-on fast charging station, the smaller, cheaper AC/DC charging solutions could give business owners the ability to install more chargers at a site.
This announcement comes very soon after we reported that Ford had filed a patent application for a multi-vehicle charging setup. The bidirectional system lets owners plug multiple vehicles into one charging point using an adapter. If Ford ends up selling the product, it could combine with the Ford Pro chargers to power even more fleet vehicles.
Both chargers are available for preorder now. The 48-amp AC charger costs $1,399, and the 80-amp unit costs $1,999. Ford Pro didn’t announce pricing for the DC chargers but said buyers may be eligible for tax incentives, including a 30 percent federal credit on charging and installation costs.
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