DEARBORN - Ford plug-in hybrid vehicles rack up enough electric-only miles every day to drive around the earth nearly eight times – a number rapidly increasing as Ford continues investing in infrastructure while exclusive features like MyFord® Mobile help improve driving habits.
Data show Ford plug-in hybrids are being driven about 203,000 electric miles every day and more than 8,400 miles every hour. The aggregate data are collected through MyFord Mobile, available on Ford’s plug-in vehicles, Fusion Energi and C-MAX Energi, and Focus Electric.
The number of electric-only miles is expected to continue increasing, as data suggest driving habits evolve for new hybrid owners through the use of MyFord Mobile and other features such as SmartGauge® with EcoGuide. After six months, nearly 30 percent of all trips are gas-free compared with about 20 percent at the beginning of vehicle ownership.
Mike Tinskey, Ford global director of vehicle electrification and infrastructure, says MyFord Mobile data showing, among other things, how driving habits evolve and how Ford plug-in hybrids are being used are key to improving the ownership experience for existing and future customers.
“The aggregate data collected through MyFord Mobile take the guesswork out of trying to figure out what we need to do when it comes to making adjustments and continuing to improve,” says Tinskey. “Ford is not being forced to use projections because the company has real customer data to rely on and use for guidance.”
MyFord Mobile – available through the App Store and Google Play – 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.
The data provide Ford decision makers with a clear picture of how vehicles are being used and are performing in the real world. A recent analysis found:
•Charge stations accessible through MyFord Mobile: 20,000
•Average number of trips between charges: Four
•Average number of charges per vehicle every week: 6.3
•Percent of Ford plug-in hybrids using level one charging stations: 70 percent
•Short trips: 83 percent of one-way trips are of distances 20 miles or less
“The data demonstrate plug-in hybrids are being purchased and used by customers in a way we had hoped, in that they drive many of their trips during the week using electricity only, and call upon their hybrid engine when needed for longer weekend trips,” says Tinskey. “It confirms for us that coupling the right infrastructure with the right product can lead to a strong, positive impact on the planet.”
Beyond the numbers
Ford doesn’t collect information on individual drivers, but aggregates group data so that it can continue to deliver the best possible ownership experience.
For example, should MyFord Mobile data indicate customers aren’t getting the most from their battery when making short trips, customer service might decide to emphasize educating owners about proper use of the EV: Now feature that keeps the vehicle in electric-only mode.
MyFord Mobile data also helped Ford planners identify the need to launch an electrified vehicle charging network for employees. The company recently announced it will soon begin installing electrified vehicle charging stations at more than 50 of its company offices, product development campuses and manufacturing facilities.
Through the program, nearly every Ford facility in the U.S. and Canada will have at least one charging station.
MyFord Mobile evolves
MyFord Mobile has evolved since it was introduced, and now features a charging station finder powered by PlugShare.com, which provides the most comprehensive information available about access to charging stations. In addition to the more than 20,000 public charge stations in the United States and Canada, PlugShare provides data about private stations, too.
Trip & Charge Log is another recent addition to MyFord Mobile, providing instant information about trips, including energy use and average fuel economy, along with an instant score based on driving habits, such as effective use of brakes.
Other features of MyFord Mobile include:
•Trip Planner: Confirms planned destinations are 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: Schedules a vehicle to charge and power up at specific times as determined by the owner so the cabin will be most comfortable when ready to go
•Value Charge Profiles: Charges battery based on electricity rates; provides a list of electrical plans from local utility company to maximize charging needs affordably
More information about MyFord Mobile can be found in a video here. Registering for MyFord Mobile can be done at here.
Ford launches PowerUp Tour
The Ford PowerUp Tour launches this month in the northeast and western United States. These unique events are designed to help consumers learn about the many benefits of Ford plug-in hybrid and electric vehicles, and assess whether one of these vehicles fits their needs.
During the events, attendees will have the opportunity to test-drive Ford C-MAX Energi, Fusion Energi and Focus Electric against the competition. Trained electric vehicle subject matter experts will provide tips on maximizing the features of these vehicles, including fuel economy and technology capabilities.
Through the tour, Ford hopes to help consumers better understand how affordable plug-in hybrid and electric vehicles can be after considering the cost of ownership and fuel savings, as well as local tax incentives and benefits.
Everyone who attends an event and test-drives a vehicle will be able to enter for a chance to win a two-year lease on a Ford C-MAX Energi. Visit www.FordPowerUp.com to view the tour stops and to learn more.