Ford Pro and the Sonoma County Winegrowers announced they are launching a pilot program that will add Ford F-150 Lightning Pro pickup trucks, E-Transit cargo vans, and Ford Pro Intelligence products and services to three pilot farms in Sonoma County.
The program aims to demonstrate how electric vehicles and web-based fleet management tools can increase productivity, improve sustainability, and lower the total cost of fleet ownership anywhere from 10 to 20%.
“Ford Pro is thrilled to team with the Sonoma County Winegrowers to further their sustainability goals and begin their transition to fully integrated all-electric fleets with on-site charging,” in a statement said Wanda Young, Ford Pro global chief marketing officer. “Ford Pro and the Sonoma County Winegrowers are driven by many of the same tenets – to accelerate productivity while operating responsibly.”
The pilot program is launching with Bevill Vineyard Management and Vino Farms in Healdsburg, and Dutton Ranch in Sebastopol – which collectively represent about 4,000 acres in the vineyard-rich Russian River Valley.
Young anticipates the program will expand in the coming months to include other farming operations in the county.
Across Sonoma County, about 60,000 acres are for growing wine grapes, and another 120,000 acres are used for other diversified agriculture, such as apple orchards, dairy farms, and cut flowers. Since the county launched its sustainability initiative in 2014, 99% of vineyard acreage in the county has earned certified sustainable status.
Karissa Kruse, Sonoma County Winegrowers president, said she believes electric vehicle adoption and efficient fleet management are the next steps in sustainability. As part of the pilot program, emissions levels in the county after one year will be measured and compared to the levels at the program’s start.
In addition to the vehicles, farms will be able to consult with the Ford Pro team for the duration of the program. Pilot farmers will have access to Ford Pro Intelligence software, home and depot charging, Ford Pro Telematics Essentials, and Ford Pro E-Telematics and energy management, all to help reduce operating costs.
“This collaboration with the Ford Pro team is a great natural next step to help us continue our progress in sustainable agriculture,” Kruse said. “A lot of farming families have a rich history with Ford, and with history comes trust. So as many of our farmers look for ways to lead in innovation and be a part of the solution, that trust is critical when it comes to investing in electric vehicles and in solutions to manage farming fleets. Our farmers love this pilot program; it’s going to be foundational."