Ford looks to lead in commercial EVs with charging, telematics project

The news: Ford, which expects to sell 300,000 EVs to government and business clients over the next decade, is launching a new project to support the surge of commercial EVs.

Why it’s worth watching: Ford is one of the first EV makers looking at commercial applications for EVs, and not only is it developing the vehicles, it is also considering telematics and a charging ecosystem to make its fleet more attractive, per The Verge.

  • Ford Pro Charging aims to offer necessary software and hardware to make charging more manageable and efficient for commercial trucks and vans.
  • The software can help commercial fleet managers understand when, where, and how frequently EVs will need to be charged—solving a potential range-anxiety sticking point in commercial EVs.
  • The telematics can determine the best charging strategies to apply to different scenarios. For example, an F-150 Lightning pickup with a full payload will use more battery than a Ford E-Transit van making deliveries, so when and where they recharge becomes critical.
  • For drivers who traditionally take vehicles home at night and get reimbursed for gas, Ford will install charging stations in their homes to help ease the transition to EVs.
  • Ford announced plans to build an EV truck plant and three battery factories in September.

Why this could succeed: Commercial customers like national and local governments are expected to go all-in on EVs to help meet the Biden administration’s aggressive EV sales target of 50% by 2030.

  • Commercial EV adopters will require end-to-end solutions as they consider the massive shift to EVs. Ford is anticipating market demands and making this transition less painful.
  • Ford Pro Charging customers will subscribe to the company’s software platform, providing the company with recurring revenue. It didn’t disclose how much the subscription would cost.