Ford, PlugShare partner to aid EV owners on the road
Photo credit: FORD
Ford Motor Co. is joining with PlugShare.com, an aggregator of electric vehicle charging stations, to provide drivers with the location of charging stations and other services on their computers or mobile devices.
In addition to locating charging stations, the service enables drivers to view and monitor battery status, check vehicle range, and determine the most efficient time to charge a vehicle.
The MyFord Mobile web portal and app -- which can be accessed using a vehicle identification number -- will be available by the end of the month for the Ford C-Max Energi plug-in hybrid and later this winter for the Fusion Energi plug-in hybrid, Ford spokeswoman Amanda Zusman said.
"It's helpful to know, before I drive out of my way to a charging station, to have that real-time information and to see if the charger is out of service or being used by someone else," Zusman said.
MyFord Mobile, which was launched last year with the introduction of the 2012 Ford Focus Electric, was the subject of a June 4 story on Forbes.com.
Forbes staff writer Todd Woody was sitting at a cafe while his vehicle charged in a downtown parking garage. After waiting 45 minutes, he received a text message: "Tuxedo Black CA 3801 had an accidental unplug while charging."
According to the story, when the author walked back to the garage, he found the electric car charger missing from the 2012 Focus EV, and plugged into a Coda Automotive sedan.
"I was down to 12 miles on the Focus' lithium ion battery pack and had been only charging for 45 minutes when this guy cut me off in the parking lot…had the Focus not texted my iPhone, I would have returned hours later after meeting friends for drinks to find the car virtually uncharged, leaving me stranded with the garage about to close," Woody wrote.
Bill Frykman, business and product development manager for Ford, said in a statement that as more electric cars hit the road, applications such as MyFord Mobile may "provide owners of Ford plug-in vehicles with a convenient way to monitor and manage their total energy usage."