PHOTO CAPTION: Ford CEO Alan Mulally demonstrates charging station for Focus Electric at 2011 CES.

Ford, Best Buy to Offer Home Charging Station for Electric Cars

Geek Squad agent will conduct a quick electrical audit to ensure the residence can support the 240-volt charging station.

Published: 08-Jan-2011

DEARBORN, Mich., – Ford is working with consumer electronics leader Best Buy to offer a 240-volt home charging station for the company’s all-new Ford Focus Electric battery electric vehicle and future electric vehicles in the United States. Best Buy intends to sell the charging station and offer complete consultation and installation services through its Geek Squad subsidiary and third-party licensed electrical contractors.

“With fast charge times, low pricing and a user-friendly design, the 240-volt home charge station will be on the shopping list of most Focus Electric buyers,” said Mike Tinskey, manager of vehicle electrification and infrastructure, Ford Motor Company. “By working with Best Buy to offer the charging station installation service solution, Ford is providing electric vehicle customers in the U.S. with a familiar, trusted source to turn to for their installation needs.”

After purchasing the all-electric vehicle, Focus Electric owners can work with their dealer to set up an installation appointment through Best Buy. Focus Electric charging stations also can be purchased through any of Best Buy’s nearly 1,200 stores nationwide or online at www.bestbuy.com. Since Best Buy’s Geek Squad is a fully owned, in-house service, customers can purchase the charging station and schedule installation from a single point of contact.

During the appointment, a Geek Squad agent will conduct a quick electrical audit to ensure the residence can support the 240-volt charging station. Once the residence passes the electrical audit, the Geek Squad agent will schedule a master electrician for a hassle-free charging station installation.

“This opportunity enables us to extend an existing strategic relationship with Ford and deliver another convenient solution to people who are anxious to embrace the latest transportation technologies,” said Chad Bell, senior director of New Business Solutions Group at Best Buy. “As more people gravitate toward electric-powered transportation, home energy management becomes an important consideration, and Best Buy intends to be actively engaged in providing convenient, easy-to-access solutions from both our retail and service support operations.”

This latest Ford and Best Buy collaboration builds on an already established relationship. The two companies have been working to help consumers in the U.S. understand and utilize the industry-leading SYNC® in-car communications system. Through Best Buy Mobile, the retailer will offer specially trained associates to assist with Ford SYNC education, training and phone compatibility tests to ensure consumers are maximizing the SYNC experience.

A better charging solution
The Ford Focus Electric charging station can be easily installed, replaced or upgraded without the use of tools due to its innovative design and mounting bracket. The 240-volt home charging station will allow Focus Electric owners to fully charge their cars in as little as three to four hours – charging in half the time as the Nissan Leaf.

Designed and produced to be compact and easy to install, the Ford charging station offers Focus Electric owners multiple advantages over competitive systems:

Nonpermanent installation: The charging unit plugs into a 240-volt outlet instead of being hard-wired into the electrical breaker box, making removal and replacement a simple unplug and plug back in operation in the event the owner moves

Single point of contact for purchase and installation: Best Buy and Geek Squad will sell, deliver, install and service the home charging station, including contracting any additional home electrical needs for 240-volt service. Best Buy also will handle warranty and repair claims for the charging station

Lower price: Based on current plans, the home charging station with standard installation is expected to retail for approximately $1,499, as much as 30 percent less than competitors’ systems

Faster charging: With its maximum 32-amp charging capability, Focus Electric owners with the 240-volt home charging station can get a full charge in as little as three to four hours – charging in half the time as the Nissan Leaf

When the connector is plugged in to the vehicle’s charge port, conveniently located between the driver’s door and front wheel well, it activates a light ring that loops around the port twice in acknowledgement of connectivity. The light ring then illuminates in quadrants as the vehicle charges. Flashing quadrants represent charge in progress and solid-lit quadrants show stages of charge completion. When the entire ring is solidly lit, the vehicle is fully charged.

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