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Ford is adding a charging a charging station finder to MyFord Mobile.
The new function is powered by PlugShare.com and will be compatible with the new Ford Fusion Energi and C-MAX Energi plug-in hybrid vehicles.
Ford said PlugShare provides a live database of charging stations across North America. In addition to aggregating publicly available lists of stations from a variety of sources, PlugShare incorporates crowd-sourced information from users to provide the most comprehensive dataset available.
“When we launched the MyFord Mobile app and portal for the Focus Electric last year, it was the most advanced remote management app of its kind in the industry,” said Bill Frykman, business and product development manager. “We’re now expanding availability of the system to drivers of our new plug-in hybrids and offering some unique features specifically tailored to these long-range vehicles.”
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.
“It is a little known fact that the majority of charging stations are currently free to use. By giving drivers a clear view of the reality of charging, PlugShare and Ford are showing more and more drivers that now is a great time to start driving on electricity,” said Forrest North, CEO of Xatori, maker of PlugShare. “With our real-time, crowd-sourcing features that include photos, reviews and check-ins, PlugShare has quickly become one of the largest and most popular charging station locators in North America. We are thrilled an established industry leader such as Ford has chosen PlugShare for MyFord Mobile.”
According to Ford, 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.”
Ford added that 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.
The MyFord Mobile app and website 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.
“We designed MyFord Mobile to provide owners of Ford plug-in vehicles with a convenient way to monitor and manage their total energy usage, and we’re continually working to make the experience better,” added Frykman.
MyFord Mobile is available in the Apple iOS App Store for iPhones and the Google Play Store for Android phones.