Ford wants the action of plugging in a new Ford EV to have an intuitive feel. The automaker today announced it has standardized the location of charge points on the Focus Electric and C-MAX Energi to the left front fender.
"After benchmarking multiple competitive vehicles, we found there wasn't much consistency in charge port location," said Susan Curry, Ford Electrified Vehicle Technology Integration supervisor. "We wanted to give customers a location that made the most sense for them and would seem as simple as filling up at the gas station."
According to Ford, EV owners are likely to plug in or disconnect their car up to four times a day, or nearly 1,500 times a year. This is compared with the once-a-week frequency of filling up a gas tank. It was important to get the charge port location just right.
Ford engineers researched several locations for the Focus Electric and C-MAX Energi charge ports to provide best spot for customer use. The plan of putting a charge port in the front and rear of the vehicle was rejected, because those locations could be damaged in small crashes, Ford said.
"The left front fender location keeps the charge port in sight, before the customer enters or exits the car, for an easy reminder to unplug or recharge," said Mary Smith, Ford Electrified Vehicle Technology Integration supervisor. "It creates an intuitive placement for owners that also has aesthetic appeal."
Ford released the Transit Connect Electric in 2010 and will launch the Focus Electric later this year. In 2012, these models will be joined in North America by the new C-Max Hybrid, a second next-generation lithium ion battery hybrid, and the C-Max Energi plug-in hybrid.