Ford Motor Co. and a Houston-based regional utility today announced a collaboration to create an outreach program that will educate consumers on electric vehicles.
Ford spokesman Chris Pick said in a statement that Ford over the next two years plans to release five new EVs, including all-electric vehicles, hybrid vehicles and plug-in hybrid vehicles. Ford is releasing several eco-versions of its current models, including the Ford Transit Connect Electric van and a hybrid version of the Focus sedan called the Focus Electric.
Ford’s utility partner for the program is CenterPoint Energy Inc., which provides electricity and natural gas to more than 5 million customers in Arkansas, Louisiana, Minnesota, Mississippi, Oklahoma and Texas.
Ford and CenterPoint announced their collaboration during Ford’s 14-city “Charging into the Future Tour,” which started last month in Portland, Ore.
"There is an incredible excitement for electric vehicles in the Houston area. To support the rollout and acceptance of these vehicles in Houston and across the country, it is crucial to work with local utilities to make sure the necessary electric infrastructure is ready,” Pick said in the statement.
The outreach program will prepare Houston-area consumers for the release of such vehicles by providing information on efficient charging of vehicles and requirements for electric infrastructure that can support the demand created by these vehicles. Ford said earlier this year that the company hopes to deliver the product and technology as customers become as receptive to all-electric vehicles as they have to hybrids.
Ford is using the tour to promote its electrification strategy that includes an investment of $450 million dollars in Michigan for the release of new EVs, fuel-alternative and fuel-efficient technology -- including EcoBoost engines -- six speed transmissions, power-assisted steering, aerodynamic improvements and use of lightweight materials.