Ford and SCE to Advance Plug-in Hybrid Vehicles

Ford Motor Co. and Southern California Edison (SCE) are combining resources to explore ways to make plug-in hybrid vehicles (PHEV) more accessible to consumers, reduce petroleum-related emissions and improve the cost-effectiveness of the nation’s electricity grid.

Plug-in hybrid technology offers the opportunity to use as transportation fuel the nation’s growing renewable generation portfolio as well as surplus off-peak power. This collaboration is designed to examine the future of PHEVs as part of a complete vehicle, home and grid energy system.

“The Ford Motor Company team is firmly focused on delivering products people really want,” said Alan Mulally, president and chief executive officer of Ford. “This unique partnership with Southern California Edison will allow us to explore new solutions for our customers’ growing need for energy conservation.”

Plug-in hybrid electric vehicle technologies are not yet competitive due primarily to the high cost of advanced batteries. Ford and SCE will explore whether these batteries have other uses that could reduce their cost to consumers.

One popular vision of plug-in hybrid automotive technology is the potential for owners to charge their vehicles in the evening when the cost to produce electricity is low, and then store and use that energy during peak hours of the day, when electricity costs are high. Advanced batteries also could store energy from rooftop solar panels more efficiently.

Edison’s nationally recognized Electric Vehicle Technical Center in Pomona, California, is testing advanced battery technologies that could further enhance the emergence of future energy storage applications in the utility industry.

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