Technology: Rand McNally’s video telematics now running on its new vehicle platform
Ford Pro announced the launch of Ford Pro Charging, a comprehensive solution for commercial electric vehicle charging. According to the company, Ford Pro Charging will help ease this transition by delivering intuitive software and commercial hardware infrastructure to support charging and energy management.
“[Customers] are depending on us to provide the electric vehicles and the integrated solutions designed for EVs that they need for charging and connectivity,” said Ted Cannis, chief executive officer of Ford Pro, a separate business within Ford focused on commercial customers of all sizes. “Ford Pro Charging is an industry first solution that is focused on helping our customers plan for, operate and deploy charging solutions so they can reduce operating costs and improve efficiency.”
The company noted that data from today’s connected Ford commercial vehicles have been leveraged to predict and manage the operational needs of electrified fleets. The software analyzes how each fleet operates and can precisely orchestrate charging management based on those behaviors. Most importantly, the technology solves meaningful problems for customers, such as determining the optimal times to charge based on energy rates.
“Our current fleet of connected vehicles allow us to learn from existing fleet behaviors so we can build the right infrastructure and the right charge management software,” says Muffi Ghadiali, head of Ford Pro Charging. “Let’s say the customer fleet returns around 10 p.m. planning to go back out starting at 5 a.m. You have a limited window for charging and have to make charging decisions in a highly dynamic environment. Does every vehicle need to be fully charged? Can we balance charge power against the available charging window to take advantage of low overnight energy rates? Ford Pro Charging accounts for a multitude of variables and controls each charge station precisely to optimize energy costs and ensure vehicle uptime.”
Ford Pro Charging strategy starts on day one and continues through every step of the electrification process – identifying available incentives with Ford Pro consulting on the design and construction of optimal charging sites that can scale with fleet operations, while collaborating with local utility partners on energy and infrastructure needs.
Ford Pro expects the depot charging industry to grow to nearly 900,000 full-size trucks and vans in the U.S. by 2030. Ford noted that while some fleets need the control and certainty of depot chargers “behind the fence” on company property, others may not have the business model or desire to make an investment in depot charging infrastructure.
For fleet drivers needing to charge overnight at home, Ford Pro offers a complete solution from home charger installation to software capabilities for tracking, reporting and simplifying driver reimbursement. Additionally, Ford customers have access to over 70,000 public charging ports, with over 3,200 DC fast charging stations (over 7,300 plugs) and growing on the nationwide Blue Oval Charging Network.
Taking an open-standards approach, Ford Pro Charging is designed to interoperate with electric vehicles from a multitude of OEMs and vehicle classes–from forklifts to heavy-duty trucks. The software solution enables remote monitoring and management and can relay charge rate, optimal charge times and service alerts. In conjunction with Ford Pro E-Telematics, exclusive features such as battery pre-conditioning can maximize range and battery performance. Data-driven insights are integrated in a seamless user experience for fleets, meaning customers can manage their vehicles and fleet operations with a single account that gives them access to the full suite of Ford Pro Charging management and E-Telematics solutions.
According to Ford, commercial customers turnover between 10% to 15% of their fleet each year so many will manage a mixed fleet of vehicles for a long time.