SYS-CON MEDIA Authors: Trevor Parsons, Sean Houghton, Glenn Rossman, Ignacio M. Llorente, Xenia von Wedel

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GE to Purchase 2,000 Ford C-MAX Energi Plug-in Hybrids; Companies Collaborate with Georgia Tech to Accelerate Alternative Fuel Vehicle Adoption and Research

DEARBORN, Mich., Nov. 20, 2012 /PRNewswire/ --

  • GE will purchase 2,000 C-MAX Energi plug-in hybrids – Ford's largest-ever plug-in electrified vehicle fleet sale – as part of GE's commitment to convert half of its global fleet to alternative fuel vehicles
  • C-MAX Energi is America's most fuel-efficient plug-in hybrid with a 108 MPGe city EPA rating and a 620-mile single-tank range that will benefit GE's sales and service professionals – many who drive more mileage daily than average commuters
  • Ford will promote GE's WattStation charging station and CNG in a Box natural gas fueling station with its commercial buyers. Ford will also supply new alternative fuel vehicles for use at GE's Vehicle Innovation Center
  • Georgia Institute of Technology researchers to study GE employee driving and charging habits through innovative MyFord® Mobile app to help optimize all-electric driving

Ford Motor Company (NYSE: F) today announces a collaboration with GE (NYSE: GE), in which the company will purchase 2,000 Ford C-MAX Energi plug-in hybrids for its fleet – Ford's largest-ever plug-in electrified vehicle fleet sale. Ford will also jointly market GE's alternative fuel infrastructure solutions.

For GE, the purchase of 2,000 Ford C-MAX Energi vehicles is another step in the company's initiative to convert half of its global fleet to alternative fuel vehicles as part of its commitment to ecomagination. The addition of the Ford vehicles brings the number of alternative fuel vehicles in GE's fleet to more than 5,000 in its goal of 25,000 vehicles.

"Ford is launching six new electrified vehicles – a big bet that fuel prices will continue rising and lead to more demand for advanced fuel-efficient vehicles," says Ken Czubay, Ford vice president, U.S. Marketing, Sales and Service. "We are pleased to partner with GE, a company that is charting a similar course, to promote advanced technology and energy savings."

Mark Vachon, vice president of ecomagination at GE, says, "At GE, we are focused on providing our customers and our fleet with more economically and environmentally efficient vehicles. The Ford C-MAX Energi plug-in hybrid is a great addition to our expanding fleet of alternative fuel vehicles."

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 – with real-time battery charge status and value charging that automatically recharges at lower-cost, off-peak electricity rates.

"Understanding driving and charging habits is key to advancing vehicle and charging infrastructure," says Professor Bert Bras of the Sustainable Design & Manufacturing laboratory at Georgia Tech. "Through access to vehicle data, we can accelerate research and development of new technologies to further improve efficiency, driver satisfaction and environmental benefits."

Study findings will be shared with commercial customers to provide insights and help facilitate deployment of electric vehicles in their own fleets amid a growing electric vehicle infrastructure that now includes more than 10,000 public charging stations across the country.

Ecomagination is GE's commitment to providing innovative solutions that maximize resources, drive economic performance and help make the world work better.

Max efficiency
With many Americans facing record gasoline prices, Ford is committed to deliver eight vehicles by year-end that deliver 40 mpg or more.

The all-new Ford C-MAX Energi is America's most fuel-efficient plug-in hybrid with an EPA- estimated 108 miles-per-gallon equivalent (MPGe) city rating and 100 MPGe combined rating. C-MAX Energi is expected to be America's most affordable plug-in hybrid with a starting price of $29,995, after federal tax credit and including destination and delivery costs.

The C-MAX Energi joins the C-MAX Hybrid as part of Ford's first hybrid-only dedicated line of vehicles. C-MAX Hybrid, available in dealerships this fall, is America's most fuel-efficient hybrid utility vehicle with EPA ratings of 47 mpg city, 47 mpg highway and 47 mpg combined.

The C-MAX hybrids are on sale now and part of Ford's strategy to deliver the power of choice for leading fuel economy across the lineup that includes six electrified vehicles.  The other EVs are:

  • Fusion Energi plug-in hybrid expected to achieve at least 100 MPGe to become the world's most fuel-efficient sedan
  • Fusion Hybrid at 47 mpg city, highway and combined is America's most fuel-efficient, non-rechargeable sedan
  • Focus Electric at 105 MPGe combined is America's most fuel-efficient five-seat car
  • Lincoln MKZ Hybrid coming later this year and expected to remain the most fuel-efficient luxury sedan in America

More information about C-MAX Hybrid and C-MAX Energi can be found here.

Fueling infrastructure
Ford will promote GE's WattStation charging station and CNG in a Box natural gas fueling station with its commercial customers. GE's WattStation is an easy-to-use electric vehicle charger that significantly decreases the time needed for vehicle charging. The WattStation uses smart grid technology and comes with an app that helps customers more easily locate vehicle electricity sources. GE's ecomagination qualified CNG in a Box is a fully integrated CNG fueling supply system offering cost-effective plug-and-play simplicity for fleet and retail fueling stations seeking to offer CNG fuel.

Ford also will supply new alternative fuel vehicles for use at GE's Vehicle Innovation Center at the headquarters of GE's fleet management business in Eden Prairie, Minn. The Vehicle Innovation Center gives GE's commercial customers the opportunity to learn about and test-drive alternative fuel cars and trucks from a variety of manufacturers in a single location with assistance from GE's fleet, transportation, energy and advanced technology experts. Ford already has placed its pure electric Focus at the center.

About Ford Motor Company 
Ford Motor Company, a global automotive industry leader based in Dearborn, Mich., manufactures or distributes automobiles across six continents. With about 172,000 employees and 65 plants worldwide, the company's automotive brands include Ford and Lincoln. The company provides financial services through Ford Motor Credit Company. For more information regarding Ford and its products worldwide, please visit http://corporate.ford.com.

About GE
GE (NYSE: GE) works on things that matter. The best people and the best technologies taking on the toughest challenges. Finding solutions in energy, health and home, transportation and finance. Building, powering, moving and curing the world. Not just imagining. Doing. GE works. For more information, visit the company's website at www.ge.com.

About Georgia Institute of Technology
The Georgia Institute of Technology is one of the world's premier research universities. Ranked seventh among U.S. News & World Report's top public universities, the Institute enrolls 21,000 students within its six colleges. Georgia Tech is the nation's leading producer of engineers as well as a leading producer of female and minority engineering Ph.D. graduates. Holding more than 780 patents and receiving approximately $570 million in sponsored awards, Georgia Tech ranks among the nation's top ten universities (without a medical school) in research expenditures. Visit www.gatech.edu for more information.

SOURCE Ford Motor Company

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