Ford is debuting its own electric car, the Focus Electric, which will be available in the coming months, and will integrate smartphone technology, including a special app that will give user updates, alerts and help them plan trips.
The 2012 Ford Focus Electric will be available in 19 markets by the end of this summer, starting with California, New York and New Jersey, Ford announced this week.
The Ford Focus Electric will come with the Ford SYNC entertainment system, and its own MyFord app, to give the driver special alerts, and other features, that is meant to make the driving experience easier.
SYNC, which has been around since 2007, uses the Microsoft operating system to allow users to make hands-free telephone calls and control music and other functions using voice commands. Ford SYNC will now be used in over four million vehicles.
The MyFord app, which debuted in January 2011, will allow the car owners to find nearby charge stations, monitor the car’s charge, receive alerts, and plan their trips through their smartphone. It will be available on Blackberry, Android and iPhone. Users will also be able to access it through a browser.
According to the release, the Focus Focus Electric will be able to charge in half the time it takes the Nissan Leaf. It will also have a higher capacity charger, and will cost less as the app is designed to alert users when local utilities begin charging off-peak rates, allowing drivers to spend less recharging their vehicles.
Ford also claims that their car will have more power, passenger room and better features than the Leaf.
“Ford and Microsoft continue to demonstrate the importance of marrying automobiles with creative technologies such as the features built into SYNC and MyFord Mobile that help people stay connected to their digital lives,” says Sheryl Connelly, Ford Global Trends manager.
“These innovations will be even more important in a future where urbanization and growing vehicle ownership could literally grind major cities to a halt around the world.”
Electric car market
Ford seems to be getting into the electric car market at the right time, as sales as expected to shoot up in the next few years.
Electric and hybrid vehicles were worth $21.13 billion last year, and is it projected that they will be worth $103.13 by 2017, according to research firm MarketsandMarkets.
Over 800 thousand low emission vehicles, which include Mild Hybrid Electric Vehicle (MHEV), Full Hybrid Electric Vehicle (FHEV), Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicle (PHEV), and Pure Electric Vehicle (EV or BEV). Were purchased in 2011. That number is expected to be over three million united by 2017, an increase of 27.8%.
(Image source: msnbc.msn.com)