Electric vehicle buyers have another home charging option
Owners of electric vehicles – including the new Ford Focus Electric – will soon be able to buy a home charging station at their local Best Buy.
Ford announced this week that it is working with Best Buy to offer a 240-volt home charging station for owners of the all-new Ford Focus Electric battery electric vehicle in the United States. Best Buy plans to sell the charging station, and offer complete consultation and installation services through its Geek Squad tech support services unit and third-party licensed electrical contractors.
Ford’s on-board 6.6-kilowatt charger allows for full charge at home with the 240-volt outlet in three to four hours, which is about half the time as the Nissan Leaf, according to Ford.
“With fast charge times, low pricing and a user-friendly design, the 240-volt home charge station will be on the shopping list of most Focus Electric buyers,” said Mike Tinskey, manager of vehicle electrification and infrastructure, Ford Motor Company. “By working with Best Buy to offer the charging station installation service solution, Ford is providing electric vehicle customers in the U.S. with a familiar, trusted source to turn to for their installation needs.”
After purchasing the all-electric vehicle, Focus Electric owners can work with their dealer to set up an installation appointment through Best Buy. Focus Electric charging stations also can be purchased through any of Best Buy’s nearly 1,200 stores nationwide or online. Since Best Buy’s Geek Squad is a fully owned, in-house service, customers can purchase the charging station and schedule installation from a single point of contact.
During the appointment, a Geek Squad agent will conduct a quick electrical audit to ensure the residence can support the 240-volt charging station. Once the residence passes the electrical audit, the Geek Squad agent will schedule a master electrician visit for a charging station installation.
Designed and produced to be compact and easy to install, the Ford charging station offers
Focus Electric owners multiple advantages over competitive systems:
- Nonpermanent installation: The charging unit plugs into a 240-volt outlet instead of being hard-wired into the electrical breaker box, making removal and replacement a simple unplug and plug back in operation in the event the owner moves;
- Single point of contact for purchase and installation: Best Buy and Geek Squad will sell, deliver, install and service the home charging station, including contracting any additional home electrical needs for 240-volt service. Best Buy also will handle warranty and repair claims for the charging station;
- Lower price: Based on current plans, the home charging station with standard installation is expected to retail for approximately $1,499, as much as 30 percent less than competitors’ systems;
- Faster charging: With its maximum 32-amp charging capability, Focus Electric owners with the 240-volt home charging station can get a full charge in as little as three to four hours – charging in half the time as the Nissan Leaf.
When the connector is plugged in to the vehicle’s charge port, conveniently located between the driver’s door and front wheel well, it activates a light ring that loops around the port twice in acknowledgement of connectivity. The light ring then illuminates in quadrants as the vehicle charges. Flashing quadrants represent charge in progress and solid-lit quadrants show stages of charge completion. When the entire ring is solidly lit, the vehicle is fully charged.