Owners of the first-ever Ford plug-in hybrid vehicles can now use their smartphones from almost anywhere to monitor and manage the battery charging process, find charging stations, check energy efficiency and earn achievements for efficient driving.
The station finder component of the MyFord Mobile app now blends point-of-interest search with charging station information from PlugShare.com to let drivers take advantage of opportunistic charging wherever their destination might be. Users can search for terms such as "pizza" or "Mexican food" near a location and MyFord Mobile will display the results along with the nearest available charge for each entry. Drivers can select a destination based on proximity to a plug.
"Access to public charging allows our C-MAX Energi and Fusion Energi customers to drive more electric miles – helping improve our environmental footprint and improve energy security," said Mike Tinskey, director, Vehicle Electrification and Infrastructure. "We've seen impressive growth in the number of installed public charge stations – growing from fewer than 3,000 units in 2010 to more than 11,500 installed units in the U.S. today.
"This collaboration allows for Ford customers to access all the currently installed stations, as well as gain immediate access to new charge stations as they are installed," Tinskey added.MyFord Mobile's trip and charge log has also been updated to provide drivers with information about how efficiently they are using their plug-in hybrid vehicle in both electric and hybrid mode. By taking advantage of available data on electricity use, hybrid gas mileage and regenerative braking, the app coaches drivers to adjust their driving style to be more efficient. MyFord Mobile still lets plug-in hybrid owners check the state of charge of the battery, get alerts if they forgot to plug the car in or if charging stops, and take advantage of value charging for the lowest electricity rates during off-peak hours. Drivers can also precondition the cabin temperature while the car is plugged in to reduce the load on the drivetrain for enhanced efficiency.