Firstly, they will do it in London.
Battery reach and availability of car chargers are, next to car prices still among the most important factors due to which drivers decide not to buy electric cars. While reach is growing by the day, number of chargers is, generally speaking, still too small and not only that, they are commonly spread without any real logic. This is a true challenge for car industry, one Ford decided to face with.
They have taken the whole issue quite scientifically. They have made an algorithm, which would help them deliver an optimized web of electric chargers. This would be based on data, gathered over few million kilometers made by couriers and will also include data on when they have made stops. According to those data they have eventually made an optimized network for British capital of London, which would have relatively small number of chargers but would be fully used even by users on the go.
The whole project has started in 2018 and was using 160 hybrid driven Ford transit vans with a help of which drivers have made over 500 million stops and thus gathered equal number of data spots. All those information was in the next step uploaded into the cloud, becoming available to researchers. And just by the nature of vehicle themselves it was clear, that they were used accordingly to the way couriers would use them on a daily basis, who are also covering the biggest number of kilometers in city centers.
It turned out, that the first task al drivers had to do in the morning was to plug their cars into chargers as they had on average only some 45 percent of ‘juice’ it their battery packs. With an optimized web of chargers, they would easily be able to charge their cars on the go, especially with fast chargers that full in about half an hour fill them to 80 percent of their capacity.
“Here at Ford we are determined to bring smart vehicles to smart world – along with electric vehicles, which will contribute to cleaner and quieter cities. At the same time, with the usage of those data, we want to help people at their investments in required infrastructure, needed with such approach,” said John Scott, leader of the project City Data Solutions at Ford Mobility.