GREG FRENETTE: FORD MANAGER OF GLOBAL ELECTRIFIED FLEETS FOCUSES ON ‘PLUGGED-IN’ PARTNERSHIPS
Greg Frenette, Manager, Ford’s Global Electrified Fleets
- Greg Frenette, manager of Ford’s Global Electrified Fleets, works to ensure consistent best practices in the development and delivery of demonstration vehicles to Ford’s global energy industry and government partners
- Prior to managing Ford’s electrified fleets, Frenette managed Ford’s Fuel Cell Vehicle program
- When he’s not at work, Frenette – who grew up wanting to be a rock star – enjoys playing and building guitars
When Ford Motor Company became the first automaker to partner with the utility industry in 2007 in a shared effort to understand all of the issues related to electrified vehicles, Greg Frenette, manager of the first partnership’s fleet, was charged up about the program’s potential.
Three years and 11 more North American utility partnerships later, Frenette – who is now manager of Global Electrified Fleets – is energized about expanding the range of Ford’s EV research and demonstration programs around the world.
Not only is Ford working to advance the commercialization of electric vehicles in North America, it also is engaged in similar partnerships in Europe. Frenette works with his counterparts overseas to make sure these government-funded programs have the vehicles needed to demonstrate Ford’s electric vehicle technologies.
In the United Kingdom, Ford is working with Scottish and Southern Energy and Strathclyde University on the UK Low Carbon Vehicle Fleet program to demonstrate a fleet of 15 prototype electric Focus cars and collect data on their performance.
In Germany, Ford is working with RheinEnergie AG, the city of Cologne and the University of Duisburg-Essen on the ColognE-mobile program, using a fleet of 25 electric vehicles to conduct similar road testing.
Like the North American utility partner fleets, the programs in Europe also are designed to generate data that will help Ford and its utility and government partners develop an efficient, convenient infrastructure and a seamless interface between the road and the power grid.
“This research is helping Ford and our utility partners to better understand the issues related to connectivity between vehicles and the electric grid,” said Frenette. “There’s definitely interest in automotive electrification and a willingness on the part of our European partners to demonstrate the advantages of the technology.”
The job is an ideal fit for Frenette, who developed a keen interest in alternative energy systems during his 20-plus-year career at Ford. Prior to taking his current role, Frenette served as manager of Ford’s Fuel Cell Vehicle program. In 2005, he was instrumental in launching the company’s 30-car Focus Fuel Cell fleet, which has accumulated more than 1.3 million miles in real-world testing.
Personal Insights and Fun Facts
- Greg is a Michigan native who lives with his wife and three children in Sterling Heights.
- He earned his bachelor’s degrees in mechanical engineering and business administration at the University of Michigan, and an MBA at Wayne State University.
- When Frenette is not at work, it’s electrical power of another kind that turns him on. He enjoys playing and building guitars. “I play Led Zeppelin on the guitar with the amplifier at volume levels you probably shouldn’t play a guitar at in a subdivision.”
- Though he may have grown up with dreams of becoming a rock star, Frenette says his work has its own unique rewards. “What’s great about this job is that we’re bringing a family of electric vehicles into production, and that can make a difference, not only for the company but for our children and grandchildren.”
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 198,000 employees and about 90 plants worldwide, the company's automotive brands include Ford, Lincoln, Mercury and Volvo. The company provides financial services through Ford Motor Credit Company. For more information regarding Ford's products, please visit www.ford.com .
Feb. 23, 2010