10:46 | 03/03/2015 Entertainment
Ford is launching a new app that enables electric vehicle drivers to remotely connect their smartphone with the car to manage charging – and even set a chosen cabin temperature before their journey.
Ford announced the launch of MyFord Mobile at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona. Drivers will be able to use the app and associated website to remotely manage the status of their car, check the range, and plan journeys to include charging.
Taking inspiration from gaming and personal fitness apps, MyFord Mobile shows CO2 savings as exercise balls, or hot-air balloons; reflects the energy efficiency of different driving styles through “Zen” and “Zippy” ratings; and offers tips on how efficiency might be improved.
Among the first vehicles to offer MyFord Mobile in Europe will be the zero emission new Focus Electric that will now feature SYNC 2 voice-activated connectivity, which Ford today announced would be available in spring 2015. MyFord Mobile also is available for the C-MAX Energi plug-in electric hybrid vehicle.
“MyFord Mobile makes owning an electric vehicle even more convenient. It displays CO2 savings in terms of objects everyone is familiar with, and shows how further energy efficiencies can be achieved in a way that is easily understood,” said Don Butler, executive director, Connected Vehicle and Services, Ford Motor Company. “Electric car drivers want to understand the environmental benefits their vehicle brings, and also to know how they could improve their contribution to help make a better future. MyFord Mobile helps them to do this.”
Supported by a dedicated website and available for iOS and Android, the MyFord Mobile app connects to the car via an on-board modem that sends data directly to a remote server.
As well as informing drivers when they have made CO2 savings equivalent to that required to fill an exercise ball or a hot-air balloon, badges, pop-ups, and alerts also let drivers know when they have reached certain zero-emission distance benchmarks, such as covering a distance equivalent to one round-the-world trip. Personalised feedback advises how range might be improved, for example, by optimising regenerative braking. Drivers also can track driving habits over time, and monitor how changes in behaviour affect energy consumption.
The Go Times feature enables drivers to prepare the car so that it is charged and ready to go with a pre-set cabin temperature, at a specific time and date. Plugged in, it will use energy from the grid, rather than the battery to heat or cool the car. The app uses integrated HERE maps that can help drivers locate their car as well as plan journeys and locate charge stations. Drivers can personalise the app with car name and colour, charge profiles, and charge scheduling.
Available in English, Dutch, French, German and Spanish, MyFord Mobile is free for the first five years of vehicle ownership.
“Through remote interaction with the vehicle, MyFord Mobile enhances convenience and mobility – from supporting drivers to easily plan journeys, to making sure the cabin is just the right temperature from the very moment they step into the car,” Butler said.
New Focus Electric
Now available in Europe at a price which is on average 14 per cent less than the outgoing model, the new Focus Electric is equipped with an advanced electric motor and lithium-ion battery powertrain that produces 145 PS and achieves a top speed of 137 km/h. The 6.6 kW fully integrated onboard charger can deliver 100 km driving range with 2-3 hours charging, and around 150 km driving range with 3-4 hours charging from a 32 A charging station.*
The sophisticated powertrain uses regenerative braking to capture up to 95 per cent of kinetic energy normally lost during the braking process, while the innovative Brake Coach feature encourages gradual braking to help return more energy to the battery.
The SmartGauge interface calculates and displays range based on remaining energy; the driver’s unique vehicle use, across braking and acceleration inputs; and the use of accessories such as climate control and audio systems. SYNC 2 with touchscreen also will enable drivers to programme charging times, and set a chosen cabin temperature for when they start the journey, from within the car.
Power of choice
In addition to the Focus Electric, Ford offers the C-MAX Energi plug-in electric hybrid vehicle and the all-new Mondeo Hybrid – the first hybrid electric car built and sold by Ford in Europe.
“With the new Focus Electric, all-new Mondeo Hybrid, and C-MAX Energi Hybrid, we are really delivering to customers in Europe a wide and compelling power of choice,” said Barb Samardzich, chief operating officer, Ford of Europe. “We also offer an increasing range of vehicles equipped with the powerful 1.0-litre EcoBoost petrol engine – the only engine to be named International Engine of the Year three times in a row, as well as a line-up of powerful and frugal diesel engines.”