Smartphones Apps are coming to manage your vehicles too. Came across this article by Antuan Goodwin on CNET reviews blog which I found really cool and worth repeating here…
The MyFord Mobile app allows you to monitor and control the vehicle’s charging status from a compatible smartphone.
(Credit: Antuan Goodwin/CNET)
MyFord Mobile app
When outside of the car, you can continue to monitor and interact with the Focus Electric via the MyFord Mobile app. This smartphone app (available foriPhone,Android, and BlackBerry devices at launch) allows you to view the vehicle’s current battery-charging state, percentage of capacity, and estimated range based on your own personal driving style. You can schedule charging for later, instruct the system to immediately charge, and receive notifications if the car isn’t charging when it’s supposed to be or is unplugged unexpectedly. Integration with a system called Microsoft Value Charging supplies the MyFord Mobile app with power rates for the owner’s ZIP code and allows the app to schedule the Focus Electric to charge when the rates are at their lowest. Using this system, Ford claims that the Focus Electric only costs about $2 to $3 per full charge, or about 4 cents per mile.
The Focus Electric can also be located on a MapQuest app that also displays the location of nearby charging stations. A trip-planning function allows you to input multiple destinations and know, based on the driver’s style, if the trip can be completed at the current battery level. These destinations and the locations of charging stations found on the map can be pushed to the Focus Electric for turn-by-turn navigation wirelessly via Microsoft Sync and an in-car wireless modem (powered by AT&T). The Ford includes five years of data connectivity in the price of the Focus Electric, but don’t go thinking that you’ll be streaming Pandora on Ford’s dime — the connection is a low-speed, non-3G connection that only handles telematics.
Additionally, the MyFord Mobile app allows you to remotely lock and unlock doors, start the climate control system to preheat or cool the cabin using power from the grid, and track driver-specific achievements for goals such as reaching a specific range on a charge, driving so many “oil-free” miles, or regenerating a specific amount of energy with the brakes. Those achievements can then be shared via integration with Facebook, Twitter, and e-mail. Non-smartphone users can access all of these features through a Web portal. I’m told that the MyFord Mobile app and Web site will continue to be expanded upon with new features and will eventually be tweaked to work with plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs) like the upcoming Ford Fusion Energi and Ford C-Max Energi.
With an interior made from recycled plastic, an app that helps maximize range, and a zero-emissions power train, the Focus Electric is green with a capital “E.”
(Credit: Antuan Goodwin/CNET)
Ford claims that the Focus Electric is a green car even before it finishes rolling off of the assembly line thanks to an interior made completely of environmentally responsible materials and fabric manufactured using 100 percent recycled bottles and plastics. Even the vehicle charging station uses 60 percent recycled materials.
Speaking of the charging station, owners of the Focus Electric who want to have a 240-volt smart charger installed in their garage can simply plunk down $1,499 to order one through their local Best Buy retailer. In-home installation will be handled by the Geek Squad and the whole thing is modular enough that it can be easily moved to a new home in the event that the owner moves.
Production of the Focus Electric began in December 2011 and the vehicle is already being used in a few fleets around the U.S. Expect to see the Focus models showing up at your local dealer sans tailpipe sometime in the first half of 2012 if you live in the California, New York, or New Jersey markets. By the end of 2012, the Focus Electric will be available in 19 markets across the U.S. starting at $39,200 before destination charges or tax rebates.”
Amazing hope there’s an App for my truck soon too.