With Ford's push towards offering an electrified option for all of its European models, the carmaker has teamed up with Centrica – parent company of British Gas – to offer both customers and dealers a range of EV services.
The partnership will see Centrica essentially become the designated supplier for the infrastructure that will enable Ford to grow its PHEV and pure electric presence in the UK. As such, Centrica will provide a dedicated home charging installation service and supply these with British Gas electricity tariffs created specifically for EV drivers (currently called Green Drive).
Ford has been noticeably slow with the electrification of its fleet and is playing a game of catch-up, not only in terms of its electrified model range, but also in terms of providing the infrastructure to go with it. Partnering with the UK's largest energy supplier is a bit of a no brainer for the brand, enabling it to reach a lot of people very quickly and tapping into an existing network of over 13,000 engineers.
Andy Barratt, Managing Director of Ford of Britain, said: “With their scale, experience and access to the electric grid, our partnership with Centrica will enable us to offer a one-stop shop for our customers as they transition to an electrified vehicle, including exciting new vehicle options, wall box, installation service and electricity tariff.”
Whether Centrica expands its offering to go down the line of end-to-end EV leasing, akin to the services provided by EDF and Octopus Energy, remains to be seen.
So what of Ford's 'exciting new vehicles'...
Ford's plans to electrify its entire model range are in-line with what other manufacturers are doing, ranging from basic mild hybrids up to full EVs with traditional hybrids and PHEVs in the middle. Its volume fully-electric range will be based on VW's MEB platform (as we recently reported), but this won't hit the road until 2023. Before then, Ford is planning a pure EV 'Mustang-inspired' performance SUV coming late 2020, and an all-electric Transit in 2021.
As well as providing EV services to customers, Centrica will also be making its charging point installation service to Ford's dealership network. It's not clear whether this will be mandated for dealers or not, but it's good news from a customer point-of-view to know that, like many of its rivals, Ford is now at least moving in the right direction with its EV fleet and the associated infrastructure.
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