The first pilot programs for the Ford E-Transit are already underway in the U.S., as Penske Truck Leasing and National Grid are currently testing pre-production versions of the new all-electric van, which just started rolling off the assembly line at the Ford Kansas City Assembly Plant last November. Meanwhile, the second phase of 2022 Ford F-150 Lightning production began back in November as well ahead of the all-electric pickup’s launch this spring, though Ford is already planning to ramp up production significantly in the coming years. Now, Ford has announced that both the E-Transit and F-150 Lightning are being used in a pilot program at three farms in Sonoma County, California.
Ford Pro is teaming up with Sonoma County Winegrowers – a group that consists of 1,800 grape farmers in Northern California – for the pilot program, which will take place at the Bevill Vineyard Management and Vino Farms in Healdsburg, as well as the Dutton Ranch in Sebastopol. The farms will utilize both of the new EV products, as well as a suite of Ford Pro Intelligence services to see how these tools can benefit the agricultural industry.
The idea is to prove that electric vehicles and next-generation software tools are more productive, cost-effective, and environmentally friendly for farmers. The pilot participants will have access to Ford Pro Intelligence software, home and depot charging, Ford Pro Telematics Essentials, and Ford Pro E-Telematics and energy management for both gas and EV fleet vehicles.
Currently, many of the vehicles utilized by these farms accumulate around 50,000 miles per year, with fuel costs averaging around $5,000 a month for Dutton Ranch’s 70-vehicle fleet. Ford believes that it can cut these costs significantly by using electric vehicles, especially since many Sonoma Country ranches already generate and store solar energy.
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