Many Ford Plug-in Car Drivers Using Electric Mode Only

Any type of insights which can be gained into the habits of drivers of green vehicles are fascinating ones to report on, given this is still a very small segment of market share compared to overall consumer car ownership. Ford has unveiled some interesting new aggregate data from its MyFord Mobile app, showing how its customers are using their plug-in hybrid vehicles around town and beyond.

The MyFord Mobile app works with Ford’s plug-in and battery-electric vehicles, which include the Fusion Energi, C-Max Energi and Focus Electric. It links up with the cars via an embedded wireless module to collect and provide information a variety of things, such as the current state of charge of the vehicle’s lithium-ion battery pack, for example. It also apparently gives Ford enough aggregate data (not every plug-in hybrid driver makes use of the app) to determine an understanding of operation habits, finding the following:

  • More electric drive time: Early in the year, as little as 41 percent of drive time was being spent in electric mode; as recent as July 16, the figure was nearing 60 percent.
  • More daily total miles: With Ford’s share of the U.S. electrified vehicle market at nearly 16 percent for the first half of 2013, between 100,000 and 160,000 miles are being driven every day.
  • More daily trips: In the last month, roughly 5,000 to 7,000 trips have been made in vehicles using MyFord Mobile daily.
  • Short trips: 84 percent of one-way trips are of distances 20 miles or less.

One feature of particular use on the Ford app has been a charging station finder. Through this feature, according to more aggregate data, about 6 million charging stations are found monthly; the average charge time is 185 minutes and 12 pm to 2 pm is when most charge station searches are conducted.

image via Ford

image via Ford

There’s obviously a lot of data here to reflect on that gives insight into how at least Ford drivers are making use of plug-in vehicles. Do your driving habits mirror these? Share your experiences in the comments below.

I am the editor-in-chief and founder for EarthTechling. This site is my desire to bring the world of green technology to consumers in a timely and informative matter. Prior to this my previous ventures have included a strong freelance writing career and time spent at Silicon Valley start ups.


  • Reply July 31, 2013

    JP White

    The Ford Plug-In Hybrids have a relatively short electric range. If their owners are able to eek out 60% of all miles on electric only, this would cause one to ask why didn’t they just buy Electric only in the first place and get 4 times the EV range.

    I believe most folks considering an EV like the idea of a range extended EV, but in many cases don’t need the range extender. It’s like training wheels for the new EV driver. Maybe for their next EV they will consider an electric only EV and dispose of the training wheels.

    • Reply August 1, 2013


      JP. I will soon be driving a Ford C-Max Energi. The reason for purchasing this Ford over a Nissan Leaf is due to the fact that I must travel out of state, periodically. While driving locally in either state, I can drive on electric only and due to solar panels already in place, at both locations, I can charge the vehicle and drive locally for FREE. My 16 year old Pontiac has over 200,000 miles on it. So, I will be able to do the same with this Ford for some 16 years, and have less mileage on the engine, since I will use it half of the time. And, I might even get 20 years of use out of this Ford.

      • Reply August 2, 2013

        JP White

        If you only have one car capable of reliable transportation, then yes a plug-in hybrid may make more sense.

        I was speaking with the Nissan dealership this morning when I dropped the LEAF off for its 30,000 service and they said Nissan are now offering up to $400 rental credit for LEAF owners that can be used to rent a vehicle from their rental arm. He said I could do so if I wished for a vacation or whatever. I think there are a few other BEV manufacturers offering rentals for their customers to make extended trips. It all depends on how long and how often you go out of town as to if a complementary rental would work or not.

  • Reply July 31, 2013

    Bob Nisbet

    Electricity is a fuel is only as clean as it’s source. In 1920 a doctor in my dad’s neighborhood in Pittsburgh was the first to drive a car, an electric car. I’m sure the Pittsburgh power grid came from coal.

  • Reply August 1, 2013


    The average speed of cars in my town is only 15 mph. The city bus averages 12, the city light rail averages 18. The bicycle, (in town,) averages 10…

    84% of trips are less than 20 miles, but most are a lot less than that: 50% of car trips are under 2 miles. So the difference in time between taking the car, or “alternative transportation”, is usually a few minutes. But an electric car is like $30k up front, plus taxes, insurance, fuel, etc… A bike is a $100, (or more if you want to splurge,) or transit ticket is $2.50. The reason to buy a pure electric car is therefore a trade off of a few minutes vs a lot of money… I did the math one day: if your time is that valuable you make low 7 figures in your day job. (I don’t, so I ride a bike.)

    • Reply August 1, 2013


      Perhaps you’ve left out how much in gas they are saving? Your point is a good one, but most of us still prefer to drive, though that is changing.

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