Ford Finds 60 Percent Of PHEV Trips Are Gas-Free

Ford has revealed insight on how its plug-in hybrid owners are using their vehicle.

Ford said plug-in hybrid owners are making the most of the vehicles’ 21 miles of gas-free all-electric range, using them for mostly short trips or commutes, and operating in electric mode nearly 60 percent of the time, according to new aggregate data collected from Ford’s MyFord Mobile app.

MyFord Mobile is currently available on Ford’s plug-in and battery-electric vehicles, including the Fusion Energi, C-MAX Energi and Focus Electric, and is available for download both through the App Store and Google Play.

Early aggregate data collected through vehicles tied to MyFord Mobile show nearly 60 percent of total PHEV miles driven every day are in electric mode, and that there is an improvement in this figure over the first 30 days of vehicle ownership.

“The daily percent driven in electric mode continues to inch upward, suggesting drivers are using the information provided by MyFord Mobile to change how they drive and really get the most out of their vehicles,” says Joe Rork, MyFord Mobile product manager.

MyFord Mobile allows drivers to link up with their cars via an embedded AT&T wireless module that provides remote communication with the car to maximize utility and minimize operating costs; a multiyear wireless service subscription is included with every Ford electrified vehicle. Among the various features, drivers can log in at any time to check the current state of charge of the advanced lithium-ion battery pack.

Ford doesn’t collect information on individual drivers, but aggregates group data so that it can continue to deliver the best possible ownership experience.

Not every owner uses MyFord Mobile. Ford released data available from those who use it; this data is showing:

  • 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.

“We’re already seeing just how useful MyFord Mobile is, both from a customer point of view in terms of day-to-day driving and also from a company standpoint,” says Rork. “We look at the data closely to make decisions about the evolution of MyFord Mobile and the vehicles themselves.”

Ford said MyFord Mobile has evolved since launch and now features a charging station finder powered by PlugShare.com, which provides what the company considers the most comprehensive dataset of information available. In addition to the more than 12,500 public charging stations in the United States, PlugShare provides data about private stations, too.

According to Ford, the station finding feature is one of the most frequently used functions of MyFord Mobile. Early data related specifically to charging show:

  • About 6 million charging stations are found every month through MyFord Mobile;
  • Average charge time is 185 minutes;
  • About 180,000 charging stations are located daily through MyFord Mobile;
  • Noon to 2 p.m. is when most charging station searches are conducted;
  • The top five most active regions for charge station searches are San Francisco, Los Angeles, Portland, Seattle and the northeast corridor.

Another recent change to MyFord Mobile is the addition of the Trip & Charge Log, a function that gives drivers instant information about recent trips, such as how much energy was used and average fuel economy, along with an instant score based on driving habits, such as how effectively brakes are applied.

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