Ford may be dialing back some of its larger EV investments, but it’s still operating under the assumption that a lot of businesses will be interested in electrifying their fleets eventually. The company is partnering with Xcel Energy to install 30,000 EV charging ports for fleet customers by 2030, at little to no cost to the businesses to the businesses themselves.
The project will be run out of Ford Pro, which is the automaker’s commercial vehicle and software division. The first EV charger installations will begin in the first quarter of 2024 in two states, Wisconsin and Colorado, and later will grow to include more states, said Amanda Rome, executive vice president and chief customer officer at Xcel Energy.
“We need an all hands on deck approach and thankfully, Ford Pro agrees,” Rome said in a briefing with reporters.
“We need an all hands on deck approach and thankfully, Ford Pro agrees.”
Xcel said it would absorb “most of the upfront costs” of the charging installations, with Rome predicting that customers would get “up to $150,000” in savings from the program. Ford, meanwhile, will offer a “full suite” of charging products to customers, including fleet management and software tools to help commercial fleet owners manage their charging.
Commercial EV sales are growing, albeit slower than passenger vehicles. Ford has sold 6,187 E-Transit vans in 2023, up from 5,811 sold in 2022. The company also sold 20,365 F-150 Lightning trucks, up 13,258 in 2022. EVs accounted for a little under 8 percent of all US vehicle sales in the third quarter of 2023, according to Cox Automotive.
But like with passenger vehicles, commercial customers are hampered by several factors, including cost and a dearth in charging options. Ford said it wants to help make EVs more attractive for commercial fleet owners by addressing these challenges head-on.
“While other charging providers battle for market share and go through turmoil. Ford is a trusted resource with more than 120 years of experience,” Dave Prusinski, global chief revenue officer at Ford Pro, said. “Yet today we’re reinventing ourselves daily and running at startup speeds.”