Along with the release of its Focus electric car, Ford is releasing a smartphone app with functions to alert drivers to remaining range, best times to charge, and car location.
Ford's new MyFord Mobile app will let owners of the Focus electric car get a variety of telematics functions, from the basic, such as remote door unlock, to trip planning software that takes the car's remaining range into account.
MyFord Mobile includes smart charging settings. Ford worked with Microsoft to develop a system that takes advantage of low electricity rates. The system asks owners when they expect to need the car, then picks a period of time when electricity is cheap to charge up the batteries.
The trip planning feature lets drivers enter multiple destinations, indicating if the car has enough range to reach all of them. Drivers can decide on different routes based on how much range the car has left.
The app gives tips to help drivers maximize their range. For example, it checks the outside temperature and suggests pre-heating or running the air conditioning while the car is plugged in, so the climate control system does not impact range as much.