Now that a small number of Ford Focus Electrics are out on the roads – and more are coming – Ford is reminding us that an iPhone application is available. The app, among other things, lets Focus Electric drivers use MapQuest to plan the most efficient route to their destination and helps find the nearest electric-vehicle charging station. Similar functionality is provided by the
The MyFord Mobile app has an AT&T wireless module that lets drivers log in to check the current state of the vehicle's charge. The app also allows the driver to program so-called "value-charging" – the system was developed by Microsoft – so that most of the charging takes place when the utility rates are the cheapest. The app will also send a text message to remind the driver if the car wasn't plugged in, which can make for a good story.
Earlier this month, Ford finally disclosed sales numbers for the Focus Electric, which moved six units last month and 16 since the model's debut last December. Ford, which started selling the model on the coasts, will make the model available in 13 more states – Oregon, Washington, Arizona, Colorado, Texas, Michigan, Illinois, Georgia, Florida, Massachusetts, Maryland, Virginia and North Carolina – later this year.
- Owners of the new 2012 Ford Focus Electric can now download the MyFord® Mobile iPhone app – which can help recharge the car in half the time of Nissan Leaf – from the iTunes app store or www.myfordmobile.com website
- MyFord Mobile includes value charging powered by Microsoft, trip planning and public charger location database thanks to MapQuest, and a cellular connection to the Focus Electric via an AT&T embedded cellular modem
- MyFord Mobile app and website offers "Guest Mode" to learn about its features
MyFord Mobile allows Focus Electric drivers to link up with their cars via an embedded AT&T wireless module that provides for remote communication with the car to maximize utility and minimize operating costs. Drivers can log in at any time to check the current state of charge of the advanced lithium-ion battery pack and enable the exclusive value charging mode.
Focus Electric drivers also will be able to share, learn and teach smart driving by participating in forums on the MyFord Mobile website – with features such as leader boards, unique achievements and social networking – when the car becomes available through dealers in the first half of 2012. In the process, users will be able to seamlessly upload driving achievements and statistics to popular social platforms like Facebook and Twitter.
"The Focus Electric is a fun car to drive and helps save customers money at the pump; with MyFord Mobile, the enjoyment and savings continue after the vehicle is parked and charging," said Bill Frykman, Business and Product Development manager. "This innovative app also offers new ways of sharing your driving experiences to create a "cool" factor while educating new Focus Electric drivers on the perks that come with an electric vehicle lifestyle."
While away from the car, customers can monitor the battery display for the current charge level and for how long the car will need to be plugged in to get a full charge or reach a desired range. The MapQuest-powered trip planner built into both the app and Web portal enables users to find available public charging stations and plan efficient multi-destination routes. Users can select their next destination and send it directly to the car from either the app or the portal for hassle-free voice guidance.
Only MyFord Mobile includes industry-first value charging technology co-developed with Microsoft that can help customers charge the car at the lowest possible cost. Electricity rates can vary widely depending on location, season and time of day. The national average is about 11.5 cents per kilowatt-hour, but local rates can vary from less than 5 cents at night to more than 37 cents during peak times in areas such as Hawaii.
When the Focus Electric is plugged in at home, value charging harnesses the power of Microsoft's cloud computing platform to check local utility rates and then automatically starts charging after the prices drop. With value charging, Focus Electric users get reduced operating costs and use power when there is less strain on the electrical grid. An added benefit is owners don't have to go searching for energy pricing data.
Owners can also use MyFord Mobile to program their driving schedule with GO Times and set a desired cabin temperature. Do you want a warm car on that cold morning? Using GO Times will heat it up without using battery power. Are you leaving in the middle of the night? GO Times will ensure you use as much of that value charge as possible and still ensure you have a full battery.
Of course the battery can only be charged if the Focus Electric is plugged in. The combination of MyFord Mobile and the embedded wireless connection enables the car to send a text message alert to the owner if someone unplugs the Focus before the battery is fully charged or the owner forgets to plug in at night.
MyFord Mobile can also help drivers learn to be more energy efficient by automatically uploading and processing vehicle data from each trip. After arriving at a destination, drivers can check the trip and charge log to see how far they drove, how much energy was consumed and how much braking energy was recaptured. They can also get overall driving scores.
"The MyFord Mobile app and the Focus Electric work together to coach drivers to be more efficient and maximize the benefits of the electric vehicle experience," said Joe Rork, MyFord Mobile product manager. "We wanted to help drivers get more miles out of every charge and have some fun along the way."
Focus Electric drivers can register an account now at www.myfordmobile.com and download the iPhone app from the iTunes App Store. Drivers who are curious about making the jump to gasoline-free driving can check out the site and the app as a guest. MyFord Mobile will also work with the upcoming C-MAX Energi and Fusion Energi plug-in hybrids.
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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 166,000 employees and about 70 plants worldwide, the company's automotive brands include Ford and Lincoln. The company provides financial services through Ford Motor Credit Company. For more information regarding Ford and its products worldwide, please visit http://corporate.ford.com.