EV Trivia: Guess How Often an Owner Will Plug In or Disconnect Annually

By Ford Social Member

Come on, take a stab at it: How many times do you think an electric vehicle owner is probably going to plug in or disconnect in order to “fuel” up each year? To give you some perspective, on average, it’s 52 times a year to fill a gas tank.

At approximately four times a day, the EV will likely be “fueled” nearly 1,500 times annually.

As you can imagine, that high number meant Ford engineers had to put some serious thought into where to place the charge port on its EVs, including the Focus Electric and C-MAX Energi. You might assume there is a standard location on all manufacturers’ EVs, but there isn’t. Ford decided to utilize market research to give owners a preferred port location that would be easy for them to use and access. To meet usage patterns, engineers considered the driver side, the passenger side and the front and rear of the vehicle. The front and rear were ruled out because they are areas with a high risk of damage in fender-benders. Those locations would also mean owners would have to bend down to plug in and out, as well as deal with snow packing, dead bugs and debris.

Other necessities to consider were commonality with the entire Ford electrified vehicle portfolio, usage patterns of North American and European customers, and maximizing investment efficiency in terms of new tooled parts and magnitude of the investment. Ford has an aggressive electrification strategy that includes the launch of five electrified vehicles in North America by 2012 and Europe by 2013.

Which area won out? “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. Being positioned on the side of the vehicle delivers the best visibility, especially when lit to show the charge state, as opposed to being buried in the front with the grille and other style cues.

One other benefit to that placement? It’s fairly intuitive because of something customers were already used to doing: filling up at the gas station.
Bill 07/23/2011
If a person had to plug in and charge four times a day not one EV would ever be sold.
Ele Truk 06/30/2011
The reason you don't want inductive charging is system losses. With a cell phone, if the charger is 90% efficient, and a cell phone takes .02kwhr to charge, the loss is less than what you get from just leaving the charger plugged in. However, with an EV, you are talking about a lot of power. 90% efficiency charging of a 24KWhr battery means you draw 26.7KWhrs to charge, that means you are wasting over 2 1/2 KWhr per charge. Sure that may only add up to about 5 cents a day (@ .018/KWhr) or about $12 a year. And for that loss, you get the priviledge of paying an extra $3000 for the charging system (over the price of the standard plug), just so you can save 5 seconds plugging in.
Your call.
Peter 06/15/2011
Inductive charging is not very efficient. There is already a loss going from AC->DC, then heat and chemical losses which add up to 3kwh for 20kWh battery to get fully charged. That's 15%, I don't want to add on another 10% because I'm too lazy to use a plug!
Thomas Artman 06/10/2011
What I'd like to know is why the price isn't announced yet - if the car is supposed to be on the lots this Fall, then the price has been known for some time now. The competitors are already priced, like the Leaf, and the serial-hybrid Volt. Ford needs to get people on board, and the best way is to get the price out there, so that people can see how cheaper it is than the Leaf (I hope, for Ford's sake).
JP Paul 06/07/2011
I would plug in 2x's a day. I will plug in at work then plug it back in when I get home.

I am sure we will move to inductive charging in the near future. Just like our video game controllers, we set them on the charging pad and wala they are charged. Same deal just place the charge pad on the floor of our garage and then pull in and it automatically charges so I do not even have to think about it =) Go Ford! Go Focus EV!! Let’s get them on the roads.
Don 06/02/2011
If they can make a cell phone charger that you place the phone down on instead of having to plug it in. Why cant they make a matt you can drive onto that would do the same effect for a vehicle? Call it the charging matt.
turki 06/02/2011
that is great
Shawn Donley 06/01/2011
my only thought about where to put the plug in? it should go some where on the driver side of the car!! using a cord to charge it and your in a hurry you wont see it on the passenger side!!
Jurek Rozycki 06/01/2011
That would be "a bit"...or too much!
Thomas Artman 06/01/2011
4 times per day?!? What planet is this author from? Given the limited range (100 miles) per complete charge that most EVs have, EV owners are going to plug in once a day: coming home after work during the week, and after running errands on the weekends. So, at most, that's 365 fill-ups per year.

Given that electricity at night is extremely cheap, the 100-mile EVs will cost less than $4 to fill up. Even then, that's only if you go from empty to full, which most people won't since the average US commute is under 40 miles round trip.

Can't wait! Bring it on!
Ted Fox 06/01/2011
Im guessing twice a day 6 days a week, so 624 times a year?
Joseph Grindle 06/01/2011
Dear Ford Motor Company,
You know I love using electric motors make you no better GM. If you are going to continue with this idea I suggest you follow Honda and their wonderful Idea of built in hydrogen power plants used to charge the battery.
Adam Howe 06/01/2011
you know a scientist named Tesla was working on putting electric power into the atmosphere and making it a usable power source...and people are still working on it...his work is still being carried on, and is almost here...just think no powerlines and no cords just pure clean energy...its almost here, Ford should get in on this and be one of the first batteryless electric cars!
Bob Long 06/01/2011
How much is the energy to charge it going to cost? How much does the average "fuel up" cost?
Clark Harris 06/01/2011
I won't be rushing out to buy one.
Jason Hall 06/01/2011
Sounds like we need chargers built into the parking spots. With an ez-tag like system. Go to work, park and charge. Go out to eat, park and charge. Etc etc. If you could get a full charge in 45-60 minutes, drive at least 400 miles on a charge and only have it cost $10 what's the problem?
Thomas David Teerman 06/01/2011
How about under the hood with a retractable cord that pulls out
Thomas David Teerman 06/01/2011
Well sounds like filling your tank is a lot of extra work 1500 a year versus 52 times a year for gas vehicles
Joe Masters 06/01/2011
more like 150 times. Electric technology doesn't have the longevity factor at this point.
Bobby Jones 06/01/2011
Kenny...lol. I like my F250 gas powered. Its big, and loves the taste of fresh unleaded fuel. : )
Kenny Ruff 06/01/2011
I plug in my Powerstroke 10 or 15 times a year. The block heater is great and the smoke is extra thick when it is cold out.
Lilrena Pharr Roseboro 06/01/2011
Please...block me!
Luke Phillips 06/01/2011
come vizit the old train station in atlanthis cape town and witness the true potential of ford!!!!!!!!!!!
Joe Gabb 06/01/2011
The charge port should be in the grill
Eric Toth 06/01/2011
10 times
Soy Bebu 06/01/2011
alta naveeee !!!
Dustin McCabe Angell 06/01/2011
why does ford still use Aston Martin architecture even though Aston Martin is no longer part of the Ford Motor Group?
EV Trivia: Guess How Often an Owner Will Plug In or Disconnect Annually
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