Ford is changing the way we charge our electric cars
by Helen Jackson |
posted 10 April 2019
For many people and businesses, when it comes to switching to a fully electric vehicle, there is a concern that charging stations will not be there when they are needed. However, Ford has now come up with a concept to help allay those concerns.
The basis for this new approach is using big data to identify the most beneficial places to locate new rapid-charging points. Data scientists at the company have developed an algorithm, based on more than 1 million kilometres of driving data to pinpoint the places that could help drivers integrate charging within their operating patterns.
This will alleviate having to make special journeys to out-of-the-way locations. “Being able to harness, analyse and leverage the huge amounts of data that is available through existing vehicle use can make a real difference to how easy we find it to get about in the cities of the future,” said John Scott, project lead, City Data Solutions, Ford Mobility. “We at Ford are committed to delivering smart vehicles for a smart world – including electric vehicles that will contribute to cleaner, quieter towns and cities.”
Following in-depth analysis in Greater London, the team concluded that it would be possible to significantly improve access to on-the-go charging through deploying a relatively small number of strategically positioned rapid-charging stations.
Ford city data solutions report
As part of its far-reaching Ford City Data Solutions Report, published in December 2018, Ford fitted 160 connected vans with a simple plug-in device to record journey data. With the consent of participants, this generated more than 500 million data points, from more than 15,000 days of vehicle use, that was sent to the cloud for analysis.
It was from this data, captured over an eight-month period, that Ford’s Global Data Insight and Analytics team were able to identify where charging points would be most useful to a fleet. “Electrification changes the way we drive – and refuel – our vehicles,” said Scott. “In locating these additional charging points, we’ve attempted to take into account regular driving and stopping patterns so that topping up slots into drivers’ regular day-to-day activities.” This announcement is ahead of the plug-in Transit Custom van and Tourneo Custom people carrier that goes on sale later this year.