NEW YORK - Ford and Microsoft are teaming up to use Microsoft Hohm as a platform to help future owners of Ford's electric vehicles optimize the way they recharge their vehicle and better manage their home's energy use.
The two companies are implementing the Microsoft Hohm energy management application for Ford's electric vehicles. Ford will first use Hohm with the Focus Electric next year, the automaker said. 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.
"Ford and Microsoft both share a strong commitment to contributing to a better world. Today, we begin the next major step in our working together and leading the way for energy efficiency and environmental sustainability," said Alan Mulally, Ford Motor Co. president and CEO. "For Ford, this is a needed step in the development of the infrastructure that will make electric vehicles viable."
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 said they agree that making energy management easy and affordable for consumers will be keys to the success of electric vehicles in the marketplace as well as in creating a positive environmental impact.
"Electric vehicles will play an important role in the global effort to improve energy efficiency and address the issues of climate change and sustainability," said Steve Ballmer, Microsoft CEO. "But as the market for electric vehicles expands, it will have a significant impact on home energy consumption and demand across the nation's energy grid. With Microsoft Hohm, Ford and Microsoft will deliver a solution that will make it easier for car owners to make smart decisions about the most affordable and efficient ways to recharge electric vehicles, while giving utilities better tools for managing the expected changes in energy demand."
The introduction of Hohm to Ford's electric vehicles supports Ford's 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.
Ford 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.