Eight Utilities Join Ford's 'Partners In Progress' PHEV Trials

List of electric utility companies who will work with Ford on plug-in electric vehicle program.

Published: 05-Feb-2009

American Electric Power
American Electric Power (AEP) is joining with Ford Motor Company and the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI) in a project designed to research and develop Plug-in Hybrid Vehicles (PHEVs) as part of a complete vehicle, home and grid energy system. AEP will be receiving a Ford Escape Plug-in Hybrid vehicle for use as part of the partnership.

Who: AEP is one of the largest electric utilities in the United States, delivering electricity to more than 5 million customers in 11 states. AEP ranks among the nation’s largest generators of electricity, owning nearly 38,000 megawatts of generating capacity in the U.S. AEP’s utility units operate as AEP Ohio, AEP Texas, Appalachian Power (in Virginia and West Virginia), AEP Appalachian Power (in Tennessee), Indiana Michigan Power, Kentucky Power, Public Service Company of Oklahoma, and Southwestern Electric Power Company (in Arkansas, Louisiana and east Texas). AEP’s headquarters are in Columbus, Ohio.

What: AEP and others involved in the partnership will assist Ford in the continued research, development and testing of PHEVs’ technologies, including using the demonstration fleet in typical customer settings to evaluate performance and potential.

When and where: AEP will be receiving a Ford Escape Plug-In Hybrid vehicle in the coming months and will be testing the vehicle at AEP’s John E. Dolan Engineering Laboratories near Columbus, Ohio, as well as road testing the vehicle in AEP’s 11-state service territory.

Why: “For several decades, politicians and others have cited energy independence as an important goal for the United States,” said Michael G. Morris, chairman, president and chief executive officer of American Electric Power. “Moving a significant portion of the nation’s transportation fleet to electric vehicles represents a definitive step toward energy independence. Partnerships such as this one between Ford, American Electric Power and other U.S. electric utilities are important in developing vehicles that fit both the consumers’ needs as well as the capabilities of the electric grid.”

Con Edison
Con Edison is joining with Ford Motor Company and the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI) in a study designed to examine the future of Plug-in Hybrid Vehicles (PHEVs) as part of a complete vehicle, home and grid energy system. The utility company will receive a Ford Escape Plug-in Hybrid vehicle to use as part of the partnership.

Who: Con Edison supplies 9 million New Yorkers with electricity in New York City and Westchester County. Its electric load has increased 20 percent in the last 10 years. Con Edison is a subsidiary of Consolidated Edison, Inc., one of the nation’s largest investor-owned energy companies, with approximately $14 billion in annual revenues and $33 billion in assets. The utility provides electric, gas and steam service to more than 3 million customers in New York City and Westchester County, N.Y.

What and Where: Con Edison plans to study the PHEV in a variety of field conditions, stretching from the steel and concrete canyons of New York City to the hills and dales of suburban Westchester County.

Why: Con Edison is a strong proponent of green technology. “Thomas Edison and Henry Ford were friends and neighbors, so it is fitting that our companies work together to make our world cleaner and greener,” said Kevin Burke, chairman and CEO of Con Edison. “Con Edison has been doing its part to help reduce global warming, and we embrace ongoing efforts to encourage green vehicle technology.”


Detroit Edison
Detroit Edison is joining with Ford Motor Company and the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI) in a study designed to examine the future of Plug-in Hybrid Vehicles (PHEVs) as part of a complete vehicle, home and grid energy system. In January, the utility received the first of two Ford Escape Plug-in Hybrid vehicles as part of the partnership.

Who: Detroit Edison is the largest electric utility in Michigan, serving 2.2 million customers in Southeast Michigan. Founded in 1903, Detroit Edison has a 7,600-square-mile service area, which includes about one million poles and nearly 40,000 miles of overhead and underground subtransmission and distribution lines.

What: Working together, the groups are exploring many of the potential benefits and/or challenges of widespread PHEV use. The demonstration vehicles will be evaluated in typical customer settings to model overall home and grid values the technology could tap.

When and Where: The first demonstration Ford Escape Plug-In Hybrid vehicle was delivered to Detroit Edison in January; another is planned for later this year. Road testing will be in Southeast Michigan over the next three years.

Why: The potential values of PHEVs offer benefits to both the consumer and the environment, making it a prime technology focus of the future. “As the hometown energy company for the U.S. auto industry, DTE Energy has a 100-year history of partnership with Ford Motor Company,” said Anthony F. Earley, Jr., chairman and CEO of DTE Energy, the parent company of Detroit Edison. “This project, which advances the technology and commercial application of plug-in vehicles, provides the opportunity to use real world experience and data to develop clean, affordable and reliable vehicles to meet future transportation needs. We are pleased to be a key partner in this research effort.”

National Grid
National Grid is joining with Ford Motor Company and the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI) in a study designed to examine the role Plug-in Hybrid Vehicles (PHEVs) will play in an overall vehicle, home and grid energy system. The utility company will receive a Ford Escape Plug-in Hybrid vehicle this spring to study as part of the partnership.

Who: National Grid is an international energy delivery company based in Waltham, Mass. In the U.S., National Grid delivers electricity to approximately 3.3 million customers in Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York and Rhode Island, and manages the electricity network on Long Island under an agreement with the Long Island Power Authority (LIPA). It is the largest distributor of natural gas in the northeastern U.S., serving approximately 3.4 million customers in Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York and Rhode Island. National Grid also owns over 4,000 megawatts of contracted electricity generation that provides power to over one million LIPA customers.

What: Working together, the groups are exploring many of the potential benefits and/or challenges of widespread PHEV use and to plan for infrastructure and demand surges. The demonstration fleet will be evaluated in typical customer settings to model overall home and grid values the technology could tap.

When: National Grid is scheduled to receive its Ford Escape Plug-In Hybrid vehicle this spring.

Why: “National Grid is committed to looking at new technology to help tackle climate change and safeguard our global environment for future generations,” said Tom King, president of National Grid’s U.S. business. “Our partnership with Ford will enable a sharing of research and technology that we hope will help lead to a complete overhaul of our transportation system. If we are to preserve our environment then we must replace big carbon-emitting gasoline and diesel vehicles with cleaner alternatives.”

New York Power Authority
The New York Power Authority (NYPA) is joining Ford Motor Company and the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI) in a study designed to examine the future of Plug-in Hybrid Vehicles (PHEVs) as part of a complete vehicle, home and grid energy system. The organization will receive a Ford Escape Plug-in Hybrid vehicle as part of the partnership.

Who: NYPA is the largest state-owned power organization in the U.S., operating 18 generating facilities and more than 1,400 circuit-miles of transmission lines. The NYPA sells power to government agencies, community-owned electric systems and rural electric cooperatives. NYPA also is a member of the Energy Coordinating Working Group, working closely with the New York State Energy Planning Board, which has been tasked by the governor with developing a multifaceted energy plan by June 30.

What: NYPA and other team members will work with Ford and EPRI to collect and analyze data on the vehicle’s systems, (speed, driver commands, GPS, battery, hybrid systems) charging infrastructure (charging time, power, energy, power quality, electricity rates) and operational data (fuel use, route and duty cycles, driver information and feedback, maintenance).

When and Where: NYPA will use the vehicle to enhance its ongoing hybrid program. “We’re partnering with Ford and EPRI on this program with great enthusiasm,” said Richard Kessel, president and CEO of NYPA. “We’ve had one of the nation’s most ambitious electric transportation programs in effect statewide since the early 1990s. We have a busy schedule planned for our Ford Escape, serving both our own business fleet and electric customer fleets. We also plan to roll it out at technology workshops and other educational events with customers and other stakeholders.”

Why: The program fits with NYPA’s goals. The NYPA has helped make New York state a pace-setter in electric drive and clean transportation technologies.

Progress Energy
Progress Energy is joining with Ford Motor Company and the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI) in a study designed to advance the development and integration of Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicles (PHEVs) into the nation’s electric grid system. The three-year program will include fleet testing and evaluation of the Ford Escape Plug-in Hybrid vehicle.

Who: Progress Energy, headquartered in Raleigh, N.C., is a Fortune 500 energy company with more than 21,000 megawatts of generation capacity and $9 billion in annual revenues. Progress Energy includes two major electric utilities that serve approximately 3.1 million customers in the Carolinas and Florida.

What: The program will provide data on how PHEVs will behave in real-world settings and will help accelerate expanded use of the technology. Key to solving the challenges of PHEV deployment is understanding how the vehicles will be used, and how they will perform, in a variety of climates and geographies. Progress Energy believes advanced technology, including electric vehicles, is an important part of a balanced strategy to meet the challenges of growing energy demand, global climate change and rising fuel costs.

When and Where: Progress Energy took delivery of its first Ford Escape Plug-in Hybrid vehicle in January and will begin road testing immediately in the company’s Carolinas service area. The company will begin testing a second Ford Escape Plug-in Hybrid vehicle in its Florida service area later this year.

Why: “PHEVs have the potential to reduce total greenhouse gas emissions while using existing generating sources more efficiently,” said Bill Johnson, chairman, president and CEO of Progress Energy. “We’re committed to being innovative and aggressively pursuing new, clean technologies that accomplish these goals while ensuring that the electric system our customers depend on remains as reliable and affordable tomorrow as it is today.”

Southern Company
Alabama Power and its parent, Atlanta-based Southern Company, are joining with Ford Motor Company and the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI) in a study designed to examine the future of Plug-in Hybrid Vehicles (PHEVs) as part of a complete vehicle, home and grid energy system. The utility company will receive a demonstration Ford Escape Plug-in Hybrid vehicle to use as part of the partnership.

Who: With 4.4 million customers and more than 42,000 megawatts of generating capacity, Atlanta-based Southern Company serves the Southeast. A leading U.S. producer of electricity, Southern Company owns electric utilities in four states and a growing competitive generation company, as well as fiber optics and wireless communications. Alabama Power, based in Birmingham, provides service to 1.4 million homes, businesses and industries in Alabama.

What: Working together, the groups are exploring many of the potential benefits and/or challenges of widespread PHEV use. The demonstration fleet will be evaluated in typical customer settings to model overall home and grid values the technology could tap.

When and Where: The demonstration Ford Escape Plug-In Hybrid vehicle will be delivered to Alabama Power. Road testing is also under way on vehicles in Michigan and Washington, D.C.

Why: Both Southern Company and Alabama Power have a long history of demonstrating and testing alternative transportation, such as electric vehicles and natural gas vehicles. The potential values of PHEVs offer benefits to both the consumer and the environment, making it a prime technology focus of the future. “Alabama Power and all Southern Company subsidiaries are committed to working with companies such as Ford to develop and deploy innovative technologies to foster efficient use of energy resources, meet rising demand, and reduce greenhouse gas emissions,” said David M. Ratcliffe, chairman, president and CEO, Southern Company.

NYSERDA
The New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) is joining with Ford Motor Company and the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI) in a study designed to 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 vehicles.

Who: NYSERDA was established by law in 1975 as a public benefit corporation. NYSERDA provides energy-related technical and financial packaging assistance to businesses and institutions to promote energy efficiency and economic development, as well as providing energy research and development programs that promote safe and economical energy production efficiency technologies in New York State. NYSERDA also analyzes the effect of New York’s energy, regulatory and environmental policies on the sate’s business, institutional and residential energy consumers.

What and Where: NYSERDA will be working with EPRI, another Ford partner in electrification research and development. EPRI’s research will be paired with a discrete New York grid study to provide relevant use and grid data.

Why: The project fits with the institute’s goals. “To further PHEV potential in the Empire State, NYSERDA, in cooperation with EPRI, is studying the state’s electric grid and its ability to support widespread PHEV use,” said Robert G. Callender, NYSERDA vice president for programs.

When: In addition to the current study, the group is working toward converting hundreds of existing state-owned hybrid vehicles to plug-in service. “Both the Ford and the New York studies will enable electric utilities and policy makers to understand how to best accommodate these vehicles and their owners,” Callender said.

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