Integrated Charging Network Effort Starts
Marc Stern's picture

Ford Joins U.S. Effort At Creating EV Charging Consortium

Following earlier attempts at creating or accessing EV charging networks, Ford has joined the latest effort aimed at creating a national EV charging experience.

If one complaint has been leveled against the electric vehicle industry, it has been the lack of standardization. Some efforts have been in this direction: Electrify America and Tesla’s Supercharging network. Still, one has not resulted in any change, and while the other, Tesla’s network, has seen some standardization, it is mainly for one vehicle brand.

Earlier EV Charging Network Attempt

Electrify America launched about six years ago. It was supposed to be an industry-private concern to bring standardization across the electric vehicle (EV) sector. And for a while, it made pretty good headway as there has been a great deal of standardization across power plugs and charging stations. However, the effort was beginning to lose headway when the pandemic hit, and Electrify America was left at a standstill.

The EV sector has recently seen much more activity around Tesla’s Supercharging network. President Biden has pushed the idea that the Supercharging network should be set up so that any EV driver can access its charging stations. Tesla agreed somewhat to this suggestion, and any EV can access a number of its network charge stations on interstates. Of course, they can’t take advantage of high-speed charging as Tesla vehicles can, but it is to be expected since Supercharging is a premium Tesla service reserved for its own vehicles.

Now, there is a new effort to launch a national charging network. Indeed, Ford has joined with the U.S. Joint Office of Energy and Transportation to launch the National Charging Experience Consortium, a new effort to rapidly develop solutions to improve electric vehicle (EV) charging across the U.S.

Ford will join a cross-industry group of automakers, charging providers, utilities, and the Department of Energy national laboratories to drive innovation and universal enhancements around current and future public charging infrastructure and customer experience. The consortium will immediately focus on payment processing, user interfaces, and vehicle-to-charger communication and work toward collaborative diagnostic data sharing to further support solutions for all stakeholders.

’Seamless, Simple Charging Network

“Creating a seamless and simple public charging experience requires collaboration across the entire electric vehicle ecosystem and remains key to accelerating EV adoption and providing customers with range confidence,” said Bill Crider, head of global charging and energy services at Ford Motor Company. “Bringing together a cross-section of industry, academia, and the government will address current challenges and drive swift improvements to the charging experience, helping Ford customers and all EV drivers realize all the benefits of driving electric.”

For more details on the announcement and the coalition, please see Joint Office of Energy and Transportation information.

Ford Motor Photo

Marc Stern has been an automotive writer since 1971 when an otherwise normal news editor said, “You're our new car editor," and dumped about 27 pounds of auto stuff on my desk. I was in heaven as I have been a gearhead from my early days. As a teen, I spent many misspent hours hanging out at gas stations (a big thing in my youth) and working on cars. From there on, it was a straight line to my first column for the paper "You Auto Know," an enterprise I handled faithfully for 32 years. Only a few people know that I also handled computer documentation for most of my earnings while writing YAN. My best writing, though, was always in cars. My work has appeared in Popular Mechanics, Mechanix Illustrated, AutoWeek, SuperStock, Trailer Life, Old Cars Weekly, Special Interest Autos, etc. You can follow me on: Twitter or Facebook.

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