Despite protests from some, Ford has been making hay about the efficiency of its hybrid vehicles and plug-in Energi models. Now, it is teaming with appliance and power products manufacturers to show how those cars can fit into a larger effort to reduce your energy bill and carbon footprint.
According to a press release from Ford, the Motor Company announced at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas this week it would partner with Eaton, Sunpower, and Whirlpool to show people how the latest technology in cars, appliances, power management, and renewable energy can save money on the electric bill and reduce a family’s carbon footprint.
Dubbed “MyEnergi Lifestyle,” the effort seeks to show “how combining renewable energy generation with ‘time-flexible’ loads optimizes energy consumption across a plug-in vehicle and home appliances,” the release said.
Further quoting the release:
“Ford and its business associates worked with researchers from Georgia Institute of Technology to create a computer model that calculates the electricity usage of a typical single family in their home for one year and the associated savings with moving to an energy-efficient lifestyle. The cumulative results predict a 60 percent reduction in energy costs and more than 9,000 kg of CO2 (55 percent reduction) saved from a single home. If every home in the U.S. were to implement these energy-saving technologies, it would be the equivalent of taking all the homes in California, New York and Texas off the power grid (32 million homes).”
The release said a promotional contest sponsored by all of the involved companies listed above would be announced soon. Though details were scant at the time of the press release, it did say the contest “plans to award a typical American family with delivery and installation of energy-saving products from each company, along with other leading energy-efficient products.”
Finally, Ford Global Director of Vehicle Electrification and Infrastructure Mike Tinskey embraced the long-held belief among car buffs that for a lot of people, a car is an appliance just like a fridge or washing machine. That’s especially true as drivers start turning to electrified vehicles in an effort to reduce the cost of getting to work and/or reduce their impact on the environment.
“More than ever, cars are sharing the same energy source as the home,” Tinskey said. “The time is right for the home appliance and transportation sectors to converge if we are going to tackle a myriad of sustainability challenges in a rapidly changing world.”
For its part, Ford said its plug-in models can help reduce the impact charging the car has on an owner’s electric bill by being set to automatically do the bulk of their charging during “off-peak” hours when electricity is cheaper per kWh. The feature is controlled via smartphone app.
“Drivers just need to enable a single setting in the app and then plug their cars in without worrying about what time the rates change in their area,” the release said. “The network monitors utility rate schedules and automatically transmits a signal to the vehicle through embedded cellular connectivity to start charging at the lowest cost.”