At this month’s International CES, Ford Motor Company demonstrated how a typical American family can significantly reduce their electricity bills and CO2 footprint by integrating home appliance technology with a plug-in vehicle to achieve an energy-efficient lifestyle. YBLTV spoke with Ford Motor Company’s Michael Tinskey, Global Director of Vehicle Electrification and Infrastructure. Ford is currently exhibiting at the 2013 North American International Auto Show, Jan. 19-27, 2013.
The Ford-led MyEnergi Lifestyle® collaboration – comprised of leaders in the home appliance, renewable energy and power management industries – includes Eaton (NYSE: ETN), SunPower (NASDAQ: SPWR) and Whirlpool (NYSE: WHR). Additional featured companies include semiconductor provider Infineon (FSE: IFX / OTCQX: IFNNY) and Nest Labs, with its latest learning thermostat represented in the research and implementation phase of the collaboration.
Specifically, MyEnergi Lifestyle showcases how combining renewable energy generation with “time-flexible” loads optimizes energy consumption across a plug-in vehicle and home appliances.
“More than ever, cars are sharing the same energy source as the home…
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.” – Mike Tinskey, Global Director of Vehicle Electrification and Infrastructure, Ford Motor Company
The average American home uses more than 11,000 kWh of electricity a year, says Warwick Stirling, Global Director for Energy and Sustainability, Whirlpool Corporation. “But with recent technology advancements in our appliances, a family can use energy smarter and more efficiently,” he adds.
“SunPower is offering Ford plug-in vehicle owners the world’s most efficient solar power systems to ensure they maximize emission-free power generation for use at home and for their vehicles,” says Ken Fong, SunPower general manager, Americas. “SunPower systems offer the industry’s best warranty, so homeowners can count on 25 years or more of clean power to support their sustainability goals and generate significant annual savings on their electricity bills.”
“As innovation in home electrical technology advances, so does the need for safe, reliable and efficient power distribution,” says Joanne Edwards, Vice President and General Manager, Residential Division, Eaton. “At the same time, giving homeowners the tools to tap into the details of distributed power for their homes allows them to modify their behavior and further reduce energy consumption.”
Driving change: Technology trends
The next car I buy will be electric… According to Ford, a plug-in vehicle is the largest electrified product most people will ever buy, and it serves as a catalyst for adoption of products that reduce CO2 and save money. Recent advancements in several technologies make this an ideal time to demonstrate the benefits that can be achieved by optimizing a home energy footprint.
Key factors driving MyEnergi Lifestyle include:
- Electric vehicles, like the all-new Ford C-MAX Energi plug-in hybrid, are more efficient and can charge during the low-cost electricity hours
- Appliance efficiency has improved dramatically over the past decade
- Hot water heaters are more efficient and use nighttime electricity
- Connected appliances can use less energy during peak periods
- The Nest Learning Thermostat programs itself and automatically saves energy when a homeowner is away
- Efficient, reliable and affordable rooftop solar systems enable families to generate renewable energy and save money on utility bills
- Connected devices enable smarter use of energy
In addition to the energy benefits directly received from the latest product offerings of Ford, Eaton, SunPower and Whirlpool, the widespread deployment of smart meters (now in more than 40 million homes across the U.S.) enables households to take advantage of off-peak rates.
Value charging in MyEnergi Lifestyle
Ford’s own off-peak electric usage technology – value charging – is available on all Ford plug-in vehicles, including C-MAX Energi, Fusion Energi and Focus Electric, via the MyFord® Mobile app. Value charging is a unique feature that harnesses the power of cloud computing to automatically charge the vehicle when utility rates are lowest, thus helping to minimize the cost to charge the vehicle and the potential ownership costs of an electric vehicle.
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 network monitors utility rate schedules and automatically transmits a signal to the vehicle through embedded cellular connectivity to start charging at the lowest cost.
Ford is the only automaker to offer the value charging feature and is working with other companies to allow access to its proprietary database of utility rates – thus enabling similar value charging functionality to all representative associate products.
The Power of Choice
Value charging is just one example of the efficiency Ford’s new electrified vehicles can provide owners. The all-new Ford C-MAX Energi is highlighted in MyEnergi Lifestyle and is America’s most fuel-efficient plug-in hybrid with an EPA-estimated 108 MPGe city and 100 MPGe combined rating – 5 MPGe better than Toyota Prius plug-in. C-MAX Energi is America’s most affordable plug-in hybrid with a starting price of $29,995, after a federal tax credit and including destination and delivery costs.C-MAX Energi is part of Ford’s overall strategy to give customers the power of choice for leading fuel economy across the lineup. Ford will offer eight vehicles that deliver 40 mpg or better in 2013 – more than any other automaker. This includes six all-new electrified vehicles – three hybrids and three plug-in vehicles.
Ford’s new electrified vehicles are equipped with innovative technologies that are designed to help win over both novice and experienced hybrid owners while giving them coaching tools to be more efficient drivers.
SmartGauge® with EcoGuide, for example, provides in-vehicle customizable displays, including instantaneous fuel economy readings and coaching functions to help drivers understand and optimize their fuel efficiency.
EV+ combines the built-in GPS of Ford SYNC® with proprietary software algorithms developed by Ford engineers to learn frequent destinations. As a result, vehicles give drivers more drive time in electric-only mode.EV mode allows a driver to switch vehicle operation between three modes: all-electric, normal hybrid operation and conserve battery power for later use mode. This new feature debuted on the C-MAX Energi and will be featured on Fusion Energi.
More information about C-MAX Energi can be found here.
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.
Eaton is a diversified power management company providing energy-efficient solutions that help our customers effectively manage electrical, hydraulic and mechanical power. The company is a global technology leader in electrical products, systems and services for power quality, distribution and control, power transmission, lighting and wiring products; hydraulics components, systems and services for industrial and mobile equipment; aerospace fuel, hydraulics and pneumatic systems for commercial and military use; and truck and automotive drivetrain and powertrain systems for performance, fuel economy and safety. Eaton acquired Cooper Industries plc in 2012. Eaton has approximately 100,000 employees and sells products to customers in more than 150 countries. For more information, visit www.eaton.com.
SunPower Corp. (NASDAQ: SPWR) designs, manufactures and delivers the highest efficiency, highest reliability solar panels and systems available today. Residential, business, government and utility customers rely on the company’s quarter century of experience and guaranteed performance to provide maximum return on investment throughout the life of the solar system. Headquartered in San Jose, Calif., SunPower has offices in North America, Europe, Australia, Africa and Asia. For more information, visit www.sunpowercorp.com.
About Whirlpool Corporation
Whirlpool Corporation is the world’s leading manufacturer and marketer of major home appliances, with annual sales of approximately $19 billion in 2011, 68,000 employees, and 65 manufacturing and technology research centers around the world. The company markets Whirlpool, Maytag, KitchenAid, Jenn-Air, Amana, Brastemp, Consul, Bauknecht and other major brand names to consumers in nearly every country around the world. Additional information about the company can be found at http://www.whirlpoolcorp.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.
Infineon Technologies AG, Neubiberg, Germany, offers semiconductor and system solutions addressing three central challenges to modern society: energy efficiency, mobility, and security. In the 2012 fiscal year (ending September 30), the Company reported sales of Euro 3.9 billion with close to 26,700 employees worldwide. Infineon is listed on the Frankfurt Stock Exchange (ticker symbol: IFX) and in the USA on the over-the-counter market OTCQX International Premier (ticker symbol: IFNNY).