Ford Escape Hybrid Plug In
The Electric Power Research Institute
(EPRI) and Ford Motor Company today announced a three year agreement to
develop and evaluate technical approaches for integrating plug-in
hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs) into the nation’s electric grid
system, a key requirement to facilitate widespread adoption of the
EPRI will form a collaborative of utilities in the New York-New
Jersey area that will test Ford Escape PHEVs. Subsequent trials will be
conducted with customers of the participating utilities.
Ford, which is also working with Southern California Edison
(SCE), is the first automotive manufacturer to partner with the utility
industry to facilitate advancing PHEVs. The new EPRI-Ford program will
build on the ongoing Ford-SCE partnership and help determine regional
differences in how the operation of PHEVs will impact the electric grid
“This partnership represents a concerted effort by the
transportation and electric sectors to work together in advancing PHEV
technology,” said Mark Duvall, EPRI’s program manager for Electric
Transportation. “This effort should accelerate the pace of PHEV
development while enabling the utility industry to prepare for the
introduction of these vehicles.”
Ford has designed and is building 20 Escape PHEVs for testing in
the Los Angeles area under the Ford-SCE partnership. With this new
EPRI-Ford agreement, Ford is able to expand the evaluation and
demonstration program to include other utilities.
“EPRI brings our collaborative efforts related to the potential
of plug-in electric vehicle technology to a new level,” said Nancy
Gioia, director of Sustainable Mobility Technologies at Ford. “PHEVs
have great promise, but still face significant obstacles to
commercialization, including battery costs and charging strategies.
Ultimately such vehicles must provide real value to consumers.”
The evaluation and demonstration trials should provide solid
technical information on PHEVs that will enable the development of
common standards among utilities to accommodate the vehicles.
“Expanding on the work Ford and SCE are doing can help move the
automotive and utility industries closer in addressing the challenges
of our transportation future,” said Ed Kjaer, director of Electric
Transportation at SCE.
PHEVs are part of a family of electric-drive technologies that
could play an important role in achieving national objectives of energy
security and a reduction of greenhouse gas emissions. They could also
lower fuel costs and lead to more cost-effective use of the nation’s
electricity grid, particularly during off-peak hours.
EPRI, Ford and SCE’s research and analysis on the Ford PHEVs
will include data from four primary areas: battery technology, vehicle
systems, customer usage, and grid infrastructure. The analysis will
also explore possible stationary and secondary usages for advanced
The combined expertise of the partners in this project, Ford,
EPRI and SCE, is designed to advance a greater understanding of a
vehicle, home and grid energy system.
The Electric Power Research
Institute, Inc. (EPRI, www.epri.com) conducts research and development
on technology, operations and the environment for the global electric
power industry. As an independent, non-profit organization, EPRI brings
together its members, the institute’s scientists and engineers, along
with experts from academia, industry and other centers of research to
meet challenges in electricity generation, delivery and use, including
health, safety and the environment. EPRI's members represent more than
90 percent of the electricity generated in the United States, and
international participation extends to 40 countries. EPRI has major
offices and laboratories in Palo Alto, Calif.; Charlotte, N.C.;
Knoxville, Tenn., and Lenox, Mass.