Ford Motor Co. says GE is purchasing 2,000 Ford C-MAX Energi plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (EVs) for its fleet, and the companies have also agreed to jointly market GE's alternative fuel infrastructure solutions.
The C-MAX Energi attains an EPA-estimated 108 MPGe city rating and 100 MPGe combined rating, according to Ford. The vehicle's starting price is $29,995, after the federal tax credit and including destination and delivery costs.
For its part, GE is in the midst of shifting half of its global fleet to alternative fuel vehicles. The addition of the Energi plug-in hybrids brings the number of alt-fuel vehicles in GE's fleet to more than 5,000; its goal is 25,000.
The two companies will also work with researchers from Georgia Institute of Technology to study GE employee driving and charging habits, with the goal of improving all-electric driving and charging performance. Researchers will use Ford's MyFord Mobile app, which offers real-time battery charge status, as well as alerts for “value charging,” whereby the plugged-in Energi automatically recharges at lower-cost, off-peak electricity rates.
Study findings will be shared with commercial customers to provide insights and help facilitate deployment of EVs in their own fleets, the companies say.
Additionally, the new partnership between Ford and GE includes the joint marketing of GE's alternative fueling infrastructure – not only the WattStation EV charger, but also the CNG in a Box compressed natural gas fueling station. CNG in a Box, which GE developed with Chesapeake Energy subsidiary Peake Fuel Solutions, is an integrated CNG fueling system for fleet and retail users.