Ford Escape plug-in hybrid vehicle
Ford Escape plug-in hybrid vehicle.

Palo Alto, California – The Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI) and the Ford Motor Company have announced a three-year agreement to develop and evaluate technical approaches for integrating plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs) into the U.S. electric grid system. This is a key requirement to facilitate widespread adoption of the vehicles.

EPRI will form a collaborative of utilities in the New York-New Jersey area that will test Ford Escape PHEVs. Subsequent trials will be conducted with customers of the participating utilities.

“This partnership represents a concerted effort by the transportation and electric sectors to work together in advancing PHEV technology,” said Mark Duvall, EPRI’s program manager for Electric Transportation. “This effort should accelerate the pace of PHEV development while enabling the utility industry to prepare for the introduction of these vehicles.”

Ford has designed and is building twenty Escape PHEVs for testing in the Los Angeles area under a partnership with Southern California Edison. The new agreement with EPRI will allow the automaker to expand the evaluation and demonstration program to include other utilities.

“EPRI brings our collaborative efforts related to the potential of plug-in electric vehicle technology to a new level,” said Nancy Gioia, director of Sustainable Mobility Technologies at Ford. “PHEVs have great promise, but still face significant obstacles to commercialization, including battery costs and charging strategies. Ultimately, such vehicles must provide real value to consumers.”

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