DETROIT -- Ford Motor Co. has an offer for electric-vehicle shoppers who balk at the additional cost of home recharging stations: Take one for free.
Ford and Coulomb Technologies Inc. are giving away 4,600 charging stations. Some will go to the first buyers of the Ford Transit Connect electric delivery van, which goes on sale this year.
"Infrastructure is a key" to creating the electric-vehicle market, Mike Tinskey, manager of Ford's sustainability group, told Automotive News.
Tinskey also said Ford plans to roll out a nationwide program to help dealers install charging stations, but he offered no details.
Coulomb will install charging stations for customers in Austin, Texas; Detroit; Los Angeles; New York; Orlando; Sacramento, Calif.; the San Jose-San Francisco Bay area; Redmond, Wash.; and Washington, D.C.
Ford is launching the program as part of Coulomb's $37 million ChargePoint America project, which seeks to develop electric-vehicle infrastructure. The project is funded in part by a $15 million grant from the U.S. Department of Energy.
Ford and Coulomb, of Campbell, Calif., will distribute 2,000 charging stations for home installations to buyers of the Transit Connect and possibly the Ford Focus electric, which is planned for next year.
An additional 2,600 stations for commercial and public street-side use will be given upon request to individuals or entities, which then can charge users for recharging at the station. The program will hand out the free stations to create an electric-vehicle infrastructure and to provide usage data.
Home charging stations cost less than $2,000 and commercial stations around $4,000, said Anne Smith, a Coulomb spokeswoman. To request a public charging station, visit chargepointamerica.com.