DEARBORN, Mich. (FOX 2) - Ford announced a partnership with a clean energy utility to around the U.S., with plans to bring some of those ports to Michigan in the near future.
The 30x30 initiative will increase the electric vehicle charging infrastructure in the U.S. for business vehicle fleets, with Colorado and Wisconsin the first two states to receive the ports in 2024. The network of chargers will grow over six years and eventually operate in Minnesota, New Mexico, North Dakota, South Dakota, and Texas, as well as Michigan.
The collaboration is between Ford Pro - the automaker's commercial division - and Xcel Energy, a Minnesota-based clean energy company that helps power homes and businesses in eight different states.
The upfront costs of installing the chargers will be offset by Xcel for business fleets that qualify under the company's Electric Vehicle Supply Infrastructure program. Ford Pro will also offer charging services to customers of Xcel Energy.
"Ford Pro and Xcel Energy are pioneering a whole new way to scale EV charging infrastructure," said Amanda Rome, Executive Vice President, Group President, Utilities & Chief Customer Officer at Xcel Energy.
Calling Ford a provider of electrification and itself an "advisor" on transportation and charging electric-powered vehicles and homes, Xcel's partnership is meant to make it easier to ramp up the country's capacity for charging cars and trucks.
Currently, a lack of available charging stations is among the barriers that experts say are preventing citizens from adopting more electric vehicles.
"We know electrification can be complex for businesses," said Ted Cannis, Ford Pro CEO. "We’re focused on helping them make that transition at the right time in the right way that’s best for their business. We know that may require new ways of working to encourage and support adoption.
How 30x30 works
A press release on Ford's website called the partnership an "inventive approach" between a manufacturer and provider to connect "EV charging solutions to business fleets."
The goal is to make it easier for businesses to connect to chargers and get support for electric vehicles in their fleet. The chargers will be installed at the locations of businesses under Xcel's program.
Most of the costs will be waived for the client. Ford Pro will provide customer service after the ports are installed.
The specs from the vehicles that participate in the program will also be analyzed by the two companies with hopes of better understanding when peak and off-peak charging periods are. Promoting off-peak charging could save customers money.