Ford Patents 'Smart Charge' System to Manage Electric Fleet Charging Considerating Power Grid Demand

Summary: Ford Motors has taken a step further in promoting the adoption of electric vehicles (EVs) by filing a patent for a smart charging system that could significantly facilitate the management of fleet EVs considering the impact on the power grid. The patent, titled "Smart Charge Scheduling for Fleet of Electric Vehicles Considering Grid Demand," outlines a system that can optimize charging schedules for fleets of EVs, taking into account various factors such as battery state of charge, travel distance, and charging station loads, all while working to mitigate power demand spikes. This development could encourage the large-scale adoption of EVs by reducing charging-related limitations for commercial fleet operators.

Details: The patent application describes a system that takes into account various factors while charging a fleet of EVs. The smart charging system aims to align recharging with low-demand or off-peak periods on the power grid by taking into account factors such as the state of charge of each EV's battery, the distance and time the vehicle is scheduled to travel before its next use, and the existing power demand and capacity at the charging station. This strategy could help avoid straining the power grid and reduce the potential for spikes in power demand, which are often met with high fees from utilities and could impede the widespread adoption of EVs.

The patent application emphasizes the need for such a system, citing the increasing demand for electric transportation solutions and the subsequent need for reliable, sustainable, and cost-effective methods for charging EVs. The application also highlights the importance of considering the varying schedules of different fleets and the dynamic nature of charging station loads, which can be affected by factors such as the time of day, week, or season.

This is not the first attempt by Ford to innovate charging solutions. In February 2022, the company filed a patent for a smart charging system that could help drivers plug their EVs into charging stations without needing to handle the charging cable, making the process more efficient and user-friendly.

Ford is not alone in its efforts to improve EV-charging infrastructure. Other automotive companies, including Tesla, Volvo, Polestar, Hertz, Mering Jet, and MADESINE Ruid, are also investing in EV infrastructure and developing innovative charging solutions. Ford's patent application highlights the company's commitment to making EV adoption more accessible and sustainable in the future, taking into account the potential strain on the power grid and working to mitigate it.

The newly patented system could be a valuable tool for commercial fleet operators, such as taxi companies or delivery services, looking to add electric vehicles to their fleets. Optimizing charging schedules could make the transition to electric vehicles more practical and cost-effective, further reducing their already-presenting financial barriers compared to traditional internal combustion engine vehicles.

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