Ford's app keeps track of when local utilities switch to lower off-peak charging rates, and automatically starts charging at the lowest cost.
As Ford quietly ships the first Focus Electrics to dealerships in three states, the company joined Microsoft at the Future in Review Conference in Laguna Beach, California, to demonstrate the new EV’s connectivity and recharging technologies.
Many of Ford’s new vehicles feature SYNC, which allows drivers to use a touch screen or voice commands to control phone, navigation, entertainment and climate functions. EV drivers can also use the MyFord Mobile app to monitor a vehicle's state of charge or current range, locate charge stations and plan routes. With value charging, a feature that Ford developed with Microsoft, the app keeps track of when local utilities switch to lower off-peak charging rates, and automatically starts charging at the lowest cost.
"Ford and Microsoft continue to demonstrate the importance of marrying automobiles with creative technologies such as the features built into SYNC and MyFord Mobile that help people stay connected to their digital lives," says Sheryl Connelly, Ford Global Trends manager. "These innovations will be even more important in a future where urbanization and growing vehicle ownership could literally grind major cities to a halt around the world."
"Microsoft technology is opening up new possibilities for the connected car in areas that both augment and transcend today's systems," says Microsoft’s Ben Smith. "From using simple voice commands to navigate to the nearest coffee shop or manage the interior temperature, to using the vehicle's on-board technology to find the most economical place to charge up, Microsoft and Ford are changing the way people interact with their vehicle."