Until recently, getting Electric Vehicle Supply Equipment (EVSE) installed in your home required you to go directly to the manufacturers of the equipment, or buy direct from your electric car dealer.
But in a deal announced today at the 2011 Consumer Electronics Show, Ford and Best Buy announced that they were revolutionising the way electric car owners shopped for their EVSE.
Coinciding with the unveiling of Ford’s 2012 Focus Electric, the Level 2 240-volt Ford-branded home charging station will be capable of providing up to 32-amps of current, providing the Ford Focus Electric with the full 6.6-kilowatts it needs to fully charge in under 4 hours.
Available shortly at 1,200 Best Buys nationwide and through Best Buy’s website, the home charging stations will retail for around $1,499, including installation.
Installation will be handled by Best Buy’s very own Geek Squad, who are no strangers to electric cars. Geek Squad technicians will visit customer’s homes to carry out an electrical audit to ensure the home is capable of providing the necessary power to the EVSE.
If suitable, they will then schedule an electrician to visit the customer’s home to install the unit, carrying out all necessary tests and paperwork to make the unit legal.
But the unit won’t be hard-wired into consumers’ homes. Instead, it will plug into a 240-volt outlet, allowing the owner to upgrade or move the unit if they need to.
Not only does this move lower the installation costs, but it makes it easier for those who rent a home to own an electric car without unnecessary modifications to their home.
The move is designed to make consumers more at ease with electric cars and electric car charging technology.
Mike Tinskey, manager of vehicle electrification and infrastructure at Ford Motor Company, explained the decision to sell EVSE in an electronics store rather than a car dealership.
“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. By working with Best Buy to offer the charging station installation service solution, Ford is providing electric vehicle customers a familiar, trusted source to turn to for their installation needs”
While Ford’s EVSE may be designed to work with the 2012 Ford Focus Electric, we can’t help but wonder how many 2011 Nissan LEAF and 2011 Chevrolet Volt owners will take advantage of its non-permanent design, portability and cost.
Ford has already shown that it has the 2011 Nissan LEAF in its sights and plans to beat the world’s first mass-produced electric car in many key areas. But now it looks as if Ford and Best Buy may win in the electric vehicle home charging station war too.
[Ford] [Best Buy]