Owners of Ford plug-in electric or gas-electric vehicle have access to a mobile phone app called MyFord Mobile. It allows the user to keep tabs on their Ford Focus Electric, Ford Fusion Energi or Ford C-Max Energi. Utilizing an always-on data connection in the vehicle the vehicle transmits important information to the phone, and the phone can also send information back to the vehicle. While there is a small delay in sending a command to the vehicle over a cellular network, it does provide some useful features that cost extra in other manufacturer’s vehicles.
Once configured, the app will show the user an image of the vehicle and the amount of charge left on the battery when logged in. Also, the app shows the fuel tank capacity. This provides an at-a-glance look at what the car is doing and if it is ready to go.
The blue car indicates where the vehicle is currently located. The days of forgetting where the vehicle is parked are over with this app. The green bubbles indicate nearby charging stations. While the C-Max Energi and Fusion Energi both can run on gasoline, the Focus Electric cannot. This portion of the app makes it easy to see where the nearest charging station is and if there is enough juice to make it to it.
The MyFord Mobile application also functions as a key fob that can work anywhere on the planet. The vehicle can be remotely started, or the doors can be locked or unlocked remotely. This would be useful if the driver is out of normal key fob range but wants to make sure the vehicle is locked. Another practical use would be starting a car parked in long-term parking at the airport from within the confines of the terminal.
The MyFord Mobile app also provides additional functionality. All of those features are accessed from the triangle menu option.
The MyFord Mobile application can provide vehicle health information. This information can include the health of the electric vehicle battery system as well as tire pressure. Also, the app provides anytime access to the owner’s manual.
The MyFord Mobile app also allows the driver to set customizable GO Times. A GO Time tells the vehicle that the driver plans on leaving at a certain date and time, and that that driver would like the temperature in the cabin to be at a certain temperature. Before the scheduled time, the vehicle will adjust the temperature in the cabin to the predefined amount utilizing the power from the power grid. This saves the vehicle from having to make those changes running on battery alone.
Interested in seeing how the vehicle is performing? The MyFord Mobile app provides statistical information, such as charge time and trip computer data, from within the app.
For those that buy a plug-in hybrid to feel good about helping the environment, the MyFord Mobile app will also show how efficient the driver of the vehicle has been. Not only will it score the driver, but it will also show how much fuel and nasty emissions were saved by driving one.
For some, they may not care about the additional features of the MyFord Mobile app, but providing remote starting capabilities is something everyone would probably enjoy. And for the those who enjoy the “gamification” of their drive, this app provides a great deal of information that can even be shared with friends.