Ford Motor Co. and the cities of Seattle, Houston and Portland, Ore., announced partnerships to help prepare the cities for the operation of electric vehicles and the demand they will place on the electrical grid. The partnerships will develop consumer outreach and education programs on electric vehicles as well as share information on charging needs and requirements to ensure the electrical grid can support the necessary demand.

During the next two years, Ford will introduce the Transit Connect electric small commercial van, the Ford Focus electric passenger car, two third-generation lithium-ion battery hybrids and a plug-in hybrid.

“To support the rollout and acceptance of these vehicles in [these cities] and across the country, it is important to work with local utilities to make sure the necessary infrastructure and demand on the grid are ready,” said Mike Tinskey, manager of vehicle electrification and infrastructure, Ford Motor Co.
The partnership between Ford and these cities also involves working with the state and local governments to develop permitting, electric vehicle tax incentives and future legislation or regulations. Continued tax incentives and an easy charging-station permitting process are both considered keys to electric vehicle acceptance across the country.

“I am pleased Seattle is working to support the environmental benefits of electric vehicles,” said Mike McGinn, Seattle mayor. “We are working with Ford to better understand the needs these vehicles will have, so we can provide local owners with excellent service to support electric cars.” 
“The idea of widespread use of electric vehicles in an urban setting is becoming a reality, and we want Oregon to be well-positioned to take advantage of this new technology and the environmental benefits these automobiles will bring,” said Jim Piro, president and CEO, Portland General Electric.
The collaboration between Ford and these cities and utilities was announced during Ford’s Charging into the Future Tour. The 14-city tour, which kicked off in Portland, Ore., promotes Ford’s electric vehicle strategy and educates consumers about what to expect from electrified automobiles and what is needed from the public and private sector to support this new technology. More partnerships are expected to be announced.