Today, Ford and Microsoft are leading the way toward a more energy-efficient future by announcing a new solution that will make electric vehicle ownership easier and more affordable for consumers.
The two companies are teaming up to implement the Microsoft Hohm™ energy management application for Ford’s electric vehicles. Ford is the first automaker announcing the use of Hohm, starting with the Focus Electric next year. Hohm will help owners determine when and how to most efficiently and affordably recharge battery electric (BEV) and plug-in hybrid (PHEV) vehicles. It also should help utility companies manage the added demands of electric vehicles
on the electric grid.
Plugging into the energy ecosystem
Both companies agree that effective management of the energy ecosystem is critical for electric vehicles to be successful and for consumer interest to grow. In a recent Accenture survey, 42 percent of consumers said they are likely to buy a hybrid or electric vehicle in the next two years.
Increasing numbers of electric vehicles, however, will have a significant impact on energy demand. That is because the addition of an electric vehicle to a household could effectively double home energy consumption while the vehicle is charging.
Ford and Microsoft agree that making energy management easy and affordable for consumers will be key to the success of electric vehicles in the marketplace as well as in creating a positive environmental impact.
Global electrification is underway
Introducing Hohm to Ford’s electric vehicles supports Ford’s aggressive global electrification plan, which will put five new electrified vehicles on the road in North America and Europe by 2013. In North America, they include the Transit Connect Electric later this year, Focus Electric in 2011, a plug-in hybrid electric vehicle and two next-generation hybrids in 2012.
America’s largest domestic hybrid seller, Ford Motor Company today has four hybrids on the road and another coming this year. They include the Ford Fusion Hybrid, Ford Escape Hybrid, Mercury Milan Hybrid and Mercury Mariner Hybrid. Also coming this fall is the Lincoln MKZ Hybrid, which is expected to be the most fuel-efficient luxury sedan in America.
Life with electrified vehicles – with full battery electric (BEV) and plug-in hybrid (PHEV) vehicles needing to be recharged daily – will require consumers to change how they think about personal transportation and energy use.
Hohm, an Internet-based service, is designed to help customers avoid unnecessary expense by providing insight into their energy usage patterns and suggesting recommendations to increase conservation. With Ford electric vehicles, Hohm also will help drivers to determine the best time to charge their vehicle. Smart recharging habits will help utility companies understand and better manage the increased demands placed upon the electric grid because of electrified vehicles.
Ford and Microsoft’s participation in the Hohm program builds on the success of their decade-long partnership to provide customers with superior in-car experiences. The Ford SYNC® communications and infotainment system, built on the Windows Embedded Automotive platform, has been installed on more than 2 million Ford, Lincoln and Mercury vehicles since its launch in 2007, helping drivers connect and voice-control their mobile devices while driving.
Microsoft Hohm is available today for free to all U.S. residential energy consumers and has multiple partnerships with utilities and other stakeholders already in place. Ford is the first automaker to join in collaboration with Hohm.
Ford and Microsoft also plan to continue to work with utility partners and municipalities to help further develop the energy ecosystem. Ford’s work includes collaboration with a dozen North American energy companies to road-test a fleet of 21 Ford Escape plug-in hybrid vehicles.
The research has accumulated more than 160,000 miles of real-world data, which provided important groundwork for the new Hohm application.