Ford has announced a tie-up with Centrica, the company that owns both Bord Gais and British Gas, to supply home car chargers to electric vehicle (EV) buyers in Ireland and the UK.
Electric Fords with 600km range on the way
Currently, Ford doesn't have any electric or electrified models on sale in Ireland (bar the Mondeo hybrid, which isn't a plug-in) but that changes later this year when the new Kuga, with its plug-in hybrid model, goes on sale. That'll be followed next year by the 'Mach One' - an all-electric crossover, meant to rival Tesla with a 600km one-charge range, and which will draw styling cues from the Mustang coupe. An all-electric Transit will follow in 2021, and by 2023, we should see the first fruits of Ford's electric car collaboration with Volkswagen.
Charger installation and EV-specific tariffs
For customers of all of those cars, Ford will be offering home charging systems, supplied and installed by Centrica. There will also be dedicated electric car energy supply tariffs on offer, as well as lower electricity costs for overnight charging.
"Ford is committed to delivering one of the most comprehensive line-ups of electrified vehicles for our customers, powered through the Ford home charger Wall Boxes", said Ciarán McMahon, Chairman and Managing Director of Ford in Ireland. "With their scale, experience and access to the electric grid, our partnership with Centrica will enable us to offer a one-stop shop for our customers as they transition to an electrified vehicle, including exciting new vehicle options, wall box, installation service and electricity tariff."
Centrica plan compliments IONITY charging agreement
Sarwjit Sambhi, CEO of Centrica Consumer, said: "We're committed to helping our customers to make the transition to a lower carbon future and are proud to be supporting Ford with the launch of their new electric vehicle range. "I believe we are uniquely positioned to help customers at home and in business to make the shift to electric vehicles, harnessing the power of our global network of over 13,000 technicians and engineers to deliver solutions that are simpler, faster and more affordable for consumers."
Ford hasn't yet said how many electric nor plugin-hybrid cars it expects or intends to sell in the coming years, but a spokesperson for the Blue Oval did tell CompleteCar that: "Ford has ambitious plans for the launch of electric vehicles. Every new Ford passenger vehicle nameplate in Europe will include an electrified option - mild hybrid, full hybrid, plug-in hybrid or full battery electric. It is too early for us to provide specific sales targets for these models but we are confident that our new mild-hybrid, full-hybrid, plug-in hybrid and full battery electric models will prove popular with customers and will represent a significant part of our sales figures in the coming years.
"We see the partnership with Centrica as a natural fit for Ireland and the UK given their prominence as an energy provider in both countries. With their scale, experience and access to the electric grid in Ireland and the UK, the partnership will enable us to offer a one-stop shop for our customers as they transition to an electrified vehicle, including exciting new vehicle options, wall box, installation service and money-saving electricity tariff.
The Centrica partnership can be seen as a complement to our participation in the IONITY joint venture that brings together Ford, BMW, Daimler, and the Volkswagen Group with Audi and Porsche with the aim of developing and implementing a High-Power Charging (HPC) network for electric vehicles across Europe. Launching approximately 400 HPC stations by 2020, IONITY will make long-distance journeys in electric vehicles easier."