A New Energy and Transportation Vision

Official Ford Motor Company press release announcing collaboration with Southern California Edision to study future of grid-interactive hybrid vehicles.

Published: 12-Jul-2007

ROSEMEAD, Calif., July 10, 2007 -- The automaker that introduced the world's first hybrid sport-utility vehicle and the electric utility with the nation's largest and most advanced electric vehicle (EV) fleet are combining resources to explore ways to make plug-in hybrid (PHEV) vehicles more accessible to consumers, reduce petroleum-related emissions and improve the cost-effectiveness of the nation's electricity grid.

Describing teamwork between their industries as essential to making progress on energy security and climate change, the heads of the Ford Motor Company and Edison International, the parent company of Southern California Edison (SCE), have announced the nation's first collaboration 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. This unique partnership with Southern California Edison will allow us to explore new solutions for our customers' growing need for energy conservation," said Alan Mulally, president and chief executive officer of Ford. "By combining strengths, ours in hybrid technology, theirs in energy management, we can consider transportation as part of the broader energy system and work to unleash the potential of plug-in technology for consumers."

"The challenges of reducing greenhouse gas emissions and increasing our nation's energy security reach across industry boundaries and unite us in a common cause," said John E. Bryson, chairman and chief executive officer of Edison International. "Partnerships between automakers such as Ford and electric utilities such as Edison demonstrate the innovative leadership position that both companies hold in seeking and finding solutions to global and consumer problems."

New Ford-Edison Vision
Ford and Edison intend to explore many of the potential benefits of widespread PHEV use, which include enhanced energy security, reduced greenhouse gas emissions, lower fuel costs and more cost-effective use of the nation's electricity grid.

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. For example, a 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. The two companies will evaluate and model the potential economic value of such innovative uses.

Also, batteries currently have no residual value priced into the purchase cost. Ford and SCE believe it might be possible to develop a market for the untapped value present in used plug-in hybrid electric vehicle batteries at the end of their vehicle life.

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

Ford-Edison Project to Evaluate Potential Values of PHEVs

As a transportation fuel, electricity is 50 percent to 75 percent less expensive than the equivalent cost of a gallon of gasoline. The diverse mix of energy sources used to generate the nation's electricity supply is priced lower and is more stable than the cost of petroleum.

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.

Plug-in hybrids produce less carbon dioxide and pollutants than gasoline hybrids. Such environmental and financial benefits will increase as a larger percentage of the nation's transportation needs is fueled from the power grid.

New Ford-Edison Vision
Each night, a large percentage of America's power generation infrastructure sits idle. A recent study by the U.S. Department of Energy 1 estimated that if every light duty car and truck in America today used plug-in hybrid technology, 73 percent of them could be plugged in and fueled by excess capacity in the electricity grid without constructing a single new power plant.

Untapped consumer benefits could be obtained by adding to the traditional utility system the energy storage and retrieval capacity of a large number of advanced batteries in plug-in hybrid vehicles. For the first time, excess power generated by home-based units such as rooftop solar generation could be stored and used when needed by the property owner.

Ford-Edison Project Components

New Ford-Edison Vision

Related Facts

1 DOE study on plug-in hybrids, released December 2006:
www.pnl.gov/energy/eed/etd/pdfs/phev_feasibility_analysis_combined.pdf

An Edison International (NYSE:EIX) company, Southern California Edison is one of the nation's largest electric utilities, serving a population of more than 13 million via 4.8 million customer accounts in a 50,000-square-mile service area within central, coastal and Southern California.

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