Detroit wants to get electrified

Escape publicity photo from Ford Motor.Ford is getting serious about electric cars.

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Escape publicity photo from Ford Motor.

Ford is getting serious about electric cars. They have just teamed up with the Electric Power Research Institute to figure how to get electric cars onto the grid. At least along to fre-charge and get back on the highway. It has long been known that one major hurdle for electric cars is getting them re-charged. It took decades to grow the current fossil fueling stations (that we lovingly call "gas stations") spread at economically viable intervals. And that's a continually evolving network. In the 1960s there were many more gas stations, mostly with only two or four pumps. Now there are fewer and bigger gas stations in the U.S. In many states you pump your own. How would a recharging station work? Drive up, swipe a card and plug in your car? Safe for drivers to do on their own? What will we call them? Plugomats? Socket stops? Charge-ins? Should we start a naming contest?

EPRI and Ford are hoping to figure out what will work and be viable. Both partners will be working with regional power companies. According to their press release, "EPRI will form a collaborative of utilities in the New York-New Jersey area that will test Ford Escape PHEVs. Subsequent trials will be conducted with customers of the participating utilities. Ford, which is also working with Southern California Edison (SCE), is the first automotive manufacturer to partner with the utility industry to facilitate advancing PHEVs."