Ford has chosen AeroVironment as its preferred installation partner and charging station supplier for its Focus Electric, C-MAX Energi and Fusion Energi plug-in vehicles. AeroVironment (NASDAQ: AVAV) offers turnkey installation through its nationwide network of certified installers, and a three-year warranty.
AeroVironment’s 240-volt home charging station will recharge Ford’s Energi plug-in hybrids in 2.5 hours, and the Focus Electric in less than 4 hours, compared to 18 to 20 hours for a full recharge from a standard 120-volt wall outlet.
“We’ve deployed more than 11,000 charging stations so far, as well as fast-charge networks in Texas (for NRG), and Oregon and Washington State’s Green Highway,” said AeroVironment’s Steve Gitlin. The company is also a provider for Nissan, Mitsubishi and BMW.
Ford has dropped Best Buy’s Geek Squad as a charging installation partner. “Best Buy will still be selling EVSEs on its website, but they found that managing the installations was a bigger job than they had anticipated,” said Ford’s Mike Tinskey. “They didn’t want to stay in, long term.”
Tinskey told PluginCars.com that perhaps 30 percent of Ford’s customers will choose the $1,799 full installation, and 70 percent will opt to buy either an AeroVironment or Leviton charger – both are available through Ford at around $850.
“Some people in our focus groups say they don’t want to take time off from work, get the permits and arrange for the installation,” said Tinskey. “They just want a contractor to show up with a charger in the back of the truck and take care of it in a single visit. But a second group will simply buy their chargers on the Internet.”
Meanwhile, Ford announced that it sold 21,080 electrified vehicles (about 10 percent of those plug-ins, and the rest conventional hybrids), in the first quarter. Its six electrified models comprise around 17 percent of the company’s total car sales. Ford is now the number two seller of hybrids, second only to Toyota, which has some 58 percent of the market.
Sources: AeroVironment, PluginCars.com