Dovetailing with its introduction of the Focus Electric at the Consumer Electronics Show, Ford announced a new mobile application that drivers can use to connect with, monitor and even control their electric vehicle. No, you can’t drive the car with MyFord Mobile – but you can, if the vehicle is plugged in, remotely instruct it to use grid power to heat or cool the battery and vehicle interior preparatory to driving.
“We’re putting battery charge and vehicle range information, along with an interactive, data-driven trip planning app right at customers’ fingertips,” said Ed Pleet, Ford Connected Services manager. “That’s going to get drivers involved and excited about the electric car ownership experience.”
The features of MyFord Mobile are in line with the sort of thing the leading charging-station companies have promised with their networks: location of nearest charging station, and if the car can reach a specific station based on its charge level; alerts if a vehicle has completed its charge, or if it has reached a charge level necessary to reach a preset distance; and even, with a feature developed with Microsoft, the ability to program the vehicle to charge when the lowest-cost electricity is available.
Users could also use the app to access unique information such as the electrical demands of vehicle accessories like air conditioning, which can have a significant impact on an electric vehicle’s range. The app also comes with a social side, Ford said, giving drivers the ability to receive driving and ownership milestones that can then be posted to Facebook or Twitter and also providing “fun ways of understanding your driver behavior, with ratings from ‘Zen’ to ‘zippy.’”
Ford said the app will be available for most major smart phones, including BlackBerry, Android and iPhone, and there would also be a mobile web application. Users could also access the app via a secure Ford website.
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