Ford sells sustainability to China with MyEnergi Lifestyle pilot

Ford has launched its MyEnergi Lifestyle sustainability program at CES Asia, selling the message of renewable energy, efficient vehicles and lower energy bills to Chinese consumers.

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Claire Reilly
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Ford has been promoting its MyEnergi Lifestyle program at CES Asia in Shanghai this week. CNET

Ford has announced a massive push in its sustainability agenda with the launch of the MyEnergi Lifestyle pilot program for China, aiming to increase take-up of renewable energy sources and efficient vehicles while reducing power bills by as much as 60 percent for Chinese families.

The automotive company has joined forces with Chinese-owned appliance manufacturer Haier -- as well as local solar power company Trina Solar and electric vehicle charging company Delta Electronics -- to roll out the initiative in Beijing and Shanghai. While the MyEnergi program has been in pilot stages in the United States since 2013, the move marks a major shift into the mainstream for Ford's energy-efficiency program.

Ford made the announcement at the CES Asia event currently running in Shanghai, China -- the first time the Consumer Electronics Association has brought an offshoot of the major technology and consumer electronics show held in Las Vegas every January.

According to Ford, the MyEnergi Lifestyle model shows "how combining renewable energy sources, efficient home appliances and a plug-in vehicle can significantly reduce families' energy costs and carbon footprint."

By bringing together these different elements, the company says Chinese consumers can reduce their carbon footprint and cut emissions -- a serious drawcard for a country with significant pollution issues in its major cities.

As an added incentive, Ford says the MyEnergi Lifestyle program could lead to real savings in energy costs. Based on research conducted with the Georgia Institute of Technology, Ford predicts the program will lead to "a 40 percent and 69 percent drop in electric and gasoline bills, respectively, for estimated annual savings of approximately AU$1,900 (RMB 9,400)." The company has also predicted "a significant impact on reducing emissions that lead to pollution."

Ford Motor Company's global director of Vehicle Electrification and Infrastructure, Mike Tinskey, said the future of renewable energy and sustainability was best addressed by multiple parties working towards the same goal -- a key factor in the company's decision to partner with Haier, Trina Solar and Delta Electronics.

"Forging a trend of sustainable energy consumption is one of the major challenges we have ahead of us," he said."It's not something that any single individual, product or corporation can achieve alone."

The MyEnergi news joined a number of announcements to come from Ford at CES Asia, include new Smart Mobility projects built around car sharing, real-time traffic and parking analysis, and driverless technology.

The company announced it will further its GoDrive car-sharing initiative by launching the service in London, inviting 2,000 members of the public to access 50 vehicles across the city. In addition, Ford announced a new research project in the Chinese city of Chongqing that will use real-time travel and GPS data on buses to provide travellers with more accurate details on travel and arrival times.

Ford also used its platform at CES Asia to showcase its Parking Spotter and remote driving technologies, both currently being trialled in the US, while the company's SYNC 3 in-car connectivity system was on show to visitors.

The inaugural CES Asia runs from March 25 to 27 in Shanghai.