Jul 29, 2013 | Dearborn, Mich.
Ford Finds 60 Percent of Plug-in Vehicle Trips Are Gas-Free; Ford App Continues to Evolve EV Owner Driving Habits
- Early aggregate data from MyFord Mobile app show customers are using their Ford hybrid vehicles for short trips and operating in electric mode nearly 60 percent of the time, as well as using the information to get the most out of their vehicles
- MyFord Mobile is available on Ford’s plug-in hybrids and battery-electric vehicle, Fusion Energi, C-MAX Energi and Focus Electric, which all helped the automaker deliver its best hybrid quarter ever, with sales of 24,217 vehicles; second quarter up 517 percent over last year and up 15 percent over first-quarter 2013
- Ford rolls out new update for MyFord Mobile – Trip & Charge Log – which tracks trip distance, overall efficiency, energy consumption, braking regeneration and driving scores
- MyFord Mobile also now features a charging station finder powered by PlugShare.com, which provides the most comprehensive dataset of information available, including more than 12,500 public charge stations in the United States; nearly 6 million charge stations are located through the feature monthly
Ford plug-in hybrid owners are making the most of the vehicles’ 21 miles of gas-free all-electric range, using them for mostly short trips or commutes, and operating in electric mode nearly 60 percent of the time, according to new aggregate data collected from Ford’s MyFord Mobile app.
MyFord Mobile is available on Ford’s plug-in and battery-electric vehicles, Fusion Energi, C-MAX Energi and Focus Electric, and is available for download both through the App Store and Google Play. Early aggregate data collected through vehicles tied to MyFord Mobile show nearly 60 percent of total PHEV miles driven every day are in electric mode, and that there is an improvement in this figure over the first 30 days of vehicle ownership.
“The daily percent driven in electric mode continues to inch upward, suggesting drivers are using the information provided by MyFord Mobile to change how they drive and really get the most out of their vehicles,” says Joe Rork, MyFord Mobile product manager.
MyFord Mobile allows drivers to link up with their cars via an embedded AT&T wireless module that provides remote communication with the car to maximize utility and minimize operating costs; a multiyear wireless service subscription is included with every Ford electrified vehicle. Among the various features, drivers can log in at any time to check the current state of charge of the advanced lithium-ion battery pack.
Ford doesn’t collect information on individual drivers, but aggregates group data so that it can continue to deliver the best possible ownership experience. And while not every owner uses MyFord Mobile, data available from those who do are showing:
- More electric drive time:Early in the year, as little as 41 percent of drive time was being spent in electric mode; as recent as July 16, the figure was nearing 60 percent
- More daily total miles: With Ford’s share of the U.S. electrified vehicle market at nearly 16 percent for the first half of 2013, between 100,000 and 160,000 miles are being driven every day
- More daily trips: In the last month, roughly 5,000 to 7,000 trips have been made in vehicles using MyFord Mobile daily
- Short trips: 84 percent of one-way trips are of distances 20 miles or less
“We’re already seeing just how useful MyFord Mobile is, both from a customer point of view in terms of day-to-day driving and also from a company standpoint,” says Rork. “We look at the data closely to make decisions about the evolution of MyFord Mobile and the vehicles themselves.”
MyFord Mobile has evolved since launch and now features a charging station finder powered by PlugShare.com, which provides the most comprehensive dataset of information available. In addition to the more than 12,500 public charge stations in the United States, PlugShare provides data about private stations, too.
The station finding feature is one of the most frequently used functions of MyFord Mobile. Early data related specifically to charging show:
- About 6 million charging stations are found every month through MyFord Mobile
- Average charge time is 185 minutes
- About 180,000 charge stations are located daily through MyFord Mobile
- Noon to 2 p.m. is when most charge station searches are conducted
- The top five most active regions for charge station searches are San Francisco, Los Angeles, Portland, Seattle and the northeast corridor
Another recent change to MyFord Mobile is the addition of the Trip & Charge Log, a function that gives drivers instant information about recent trips, such as how much energy was used and average fuel economy, along with an instant score based on driving habits, such as how effectively brakes are applied.
Other features of MyFord Mobile include:
- Trip planner:Designed to provide peace of mind by confirming a planned destination is within the battery’s current range, based on previous driving history; provides tips specific to driving habits to ensure route feasibility; defaults route to a charge station as the final destination
- My GO times: Schedule your vehicle to be cozy (preconditioned) and ready to go (fully charged)
- Value charge profiles: Charge based on electricity rates; provides a list of electrical plans from local utility company to maximize your charging needs affordably
Rork says that since the app has been available, Ford engineers and researchers have been collecting feedback from customers to continually add functionality to MyFord Mobile. Ford has held clinics specifically about MyFord Mobile and takes into account feedback received via other methods, such as e-mail. He says the company will continue to collect and use customer feedback as MyFord Mobile evolves.