In the rapidly changing landscape of automobiles, what will your garage look like to accommodate all electric or plug-in hybrid vehicles?  Ford has worked with many partners in the development of their home charging system for the electric Focus, to be released this year, and the upcoming plug-in hybrid and electric versions of the all new C-MAX.

The wall mounted unit will be powered by a standard 240V outlet and is stated by Ford to be less expensive than similar systems for Nissan and Chevy on the market.  The system will be available through Best Buy with installation by the GeekSquad to make the process seamless and as easy as any other appliance purchase.  With such an installation you can also easily take the charging unit with you when you move.

Built by Leviton with programming from Microsoft, the charger has the ability to offer a straight or value charge, selected within your vehicle as you arrive, using the industry standard SAE J1772 electrical charging connector (below).  The straight charge will charge your vehicle in 3 hours to full capacity and range of 100 miles.

However, if you are parking overnight or for an extended period, you can set the charger to value charge and tell the car when you need it to be fully charged.  From there, it will charge your vehicle at the cheapest demand rates from your local utility, not only saving the homeowner money but also decreasing peak loads.  For peace of mind, it comes complete with smart phone apps to monitor the status of your charge from anywhere.

Disclosure: Ford invited Jetson Green to Forward with Ford 2011 and covered expenses for travel, lodging, and meals during the conference.  All opinions are our own.

Photo credits:  Jetson Green, LLC (top); Ford (bottom two).