01 August 2012, 10:16 BST
Ford has just released an app for smartphones that keeps track of the rapidly growing number of electric vehicle charging stations across the U.S. The app is updated daily and contains the location of more than 9,400 public charging stations. The app also allows owners of Ford vehicles to remotely manage charging and view their current battery level.
"MyFord® Mobile is an app developed by Ford engineers that can only be used with Ford Focus Electric and the soon-to-be-available C-MAX Energi and Fusion Energi plug-in hybrids. In addition to locating charging stations, the app allows customers to manage remote charging, view current battery status and plan trips," a news release emailed to CleanTechnica stated.
"The charging station locator is powered by MapQuest® and provides important details about charging stations in close proximity to the owner's vehicle, such as street address and hours of operation. Stations are popping up all over, too - from local grocery stores in Pittsburgh, churches in Austin, Texas, and hospitals in Portland to places like McDonald's, Starbucks, Whole Foods, Walgreens, Target, Cracker Barrel and Walmart."
"As more stations join the grid, MyFord Mobile users will be among the first to know because information about charger locations is constantly being culled from various sources to provide the most up-to-date data," said Mike Tinskey, Ford's manager of Vehicle Electrification and Infrastructure.
Rapid updates are important because of the rapid growth of new stations - there are now 9,445 public stations in the U.S., according to current U.S. Department of Energy numbers. In 2009, there were only around 2,500 public charging stations in the U.S.
"In addition to having innovative features that allow customers to minimize their transportation costs and maximize their EV driving range, MyFord Mobile also is the only mobile app that integrates up-to-date charge station locations real-time within the application," said Tinskey.
"I cannot recall another time in our history when there was so much momentum and resources around an energy shift for transportation," he says. "Not only are these charge stations a boost for consumers thinking about a plug-in hybrid vehicle, but they also provide a glimpse of how things will likely take shape in the future."
The rapid rise in the number of charging stations is because people see electric vehicle adoption "as a foregone conclusion," says J.R. DeShazo, director of UCLA's Luskin Center for Innovation, "with the only remaining question pertaining to how quickly adoption takes place."
"As automakers like Ford meet drivers' needs, excite drivers - and at the same time provide them with vehicles that lower refueling costs and provide greater environmental and social benefits - the quicker we're going to see these important technologies and important vehicles adopted."
More information about Ford's electrified vehicle lineup - including press releases, technical specifications and other related material - can be found on the Ford website.
Source: Planet Save