Ford stumps for more urban EV charging infrastructure

Ford said it is working with a bevy of cities to bolster the infrastructure needed to enable electric vehicle charging in various metropolitan areas.

Ford said Wednesday it is working with a bevy of cities to bolster the infrastructure needed to enable electric vehicle charging in various metropolitan areas.

There's an obvious hook for Ford---and every other automaker---here: The easier EVs are to charge the more plug-in cars will be sold. Ford will be launching the Focus Electric in 2011 as other vehicles such as the Nissan Leaf and Chevrolet Volt are already on the market. Charging stations will be increasingly important as more EVs hit the road.

  • Ford argues that cities and utilities need the following:
  • A utility rate structure that encourages off peak charging.
  • Easy permits to install EV infrastructure.
  • Participation between automakers, utilities, dealers, cities and customers.
  • Urban planning and infrastructure incentives to offset consumer costs.

That final point is probably most important. Consumers will need help to offset hardware and installation costs for speedy EV chargers. Ford has announced a deal with Best Buy to make outlet installation cheaper . The rub is that it's unclear where cash-strapped cities will get the budget to offer these incentives.

Ford said it is working with a bevy of cities including Atlanta, Baltimore, Boston, Chicago, Houston, San Francisco and Philadelphia.

This post was originally published on Smartplanet.com