Ford Motor Co. will be unveiling its electric car model, the Focus and a passenger van, the electric Transit to the market. Aside from these innovative designs, the car company is expanding beyond the vehicle to provide a full service complement to its vehicles.
The automaker has partnered with three of the biggest companies in consumer electronics to provide its car customers a full service package. Firstly, the company has created a home recharging unit. The recharger is made out of 60 percent post-consumer recycled materials.
“We view this as a part of the vehicle,” said Mike Tinskey, manager of vehicle electrification and infrastructure for Ford, during a Jan. 11 interview at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit.
With the carmaker’s partnership with Leviton Manufacturing Co. Inc. of Melville, N.Y., the company behind the home recharger, aside from the home installed unit, there is a portable charger also available to Ford clients. The plastics used in the unit would be created by Sabic Innovative Plastics US LLC, called the Valox iQ. The unit would be made from PET bottles and a Sabic patented resin to provide the proper housing for both the home installed and the portable recharger.
The portable recharger uses a 110-watt connection while the home recharger runs on 240 watts. The car can be fully recharged within three hours. Furthermore, the home recharger can be easily installed and disassembled, allowing easy transport for homeowners.
The home charger unit is not hard wired into the home’s electrical circuit breaker but instead is just plugged into a normal 240-volt outlet. The home charging system, together with its standard installation service, is expected to retail just below $1,500, which is 30% cheaper than other brands in the market. Also included in the package would be a ten-year hardware warranty.
Retailing the chargers and the installation is Best Buy Co. Inc. As part of their agreement, Best Buy would have an in-store support system, called the “Geek Squad” to provide installation and after-sales services for charges purchased nationwide. The service would be available in all Best Buy stores and there is also an on-call diagnostics service to provide advice on issues of the charger as well as a repair call center to send technicians to the charger’s location.
The first home charging units would be available to the public in April, in time for the commercial offering of the Transit. The larger part of the service complement would be for the Ford Focus, as they are available in 19 key market areas.