Ford Motor Co released a new app for smartphones that enables electric car users to monitor their car even from a distance, assuaging many fears drivers have about an electric car.
The new 'MyFord Mobile' app, which can be used on smart phones, allows owners monitor the car's state of charge, receive alerts about the vehicle charging and control selected vehicle functions from anywhere.
The app is aimed at making Ford car ownership simpler and easier, Ford said in a statement.
The MyFord app is extremely helpful in figuring out how much charge the car has and how much it would need to charge for additional distances. It can also direct the car to start charging immediately or wait till electricity prices are the lowest, remotely lock and unlock the car. It also integrates with MapQuest to find the nearest charging station, plan out journeys.
Among other useful feature, it also allows the user to find the car by creating a route from the mobile phone to the vehicle - important element in vast mall parking lots where many times we wander around locating the car.
Ford is also stepping into the social networking world with the app, which allows the driver to post driving achievements and milestones to Facebook or Twitter accounts.
Ford's electric car - Focus Electric - is expected to be launched in late 2011 in 19 cities in the U.S. The car will be introduced by the company's CEO Alan Mulally on Friday at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, while Executive Chairman Bill Ford will unveil the car at a ceremony in New York.
Electric cars are expected to gain popularity as the U.S. pushes for more fuel-efficient and environmental-friendly cars in the future.
Though the cost of an electric car was initially cost-prohibitive because of the battery, the new technology used by Tesla Motors, along with subsidies by various governments for the 'green cars' is now ensuring that costs will reduce in the future, particularly as demand increases.
Most major automakers have announced an electric car in the U.S. to be launched this year.
Apps like MyFord will ensure tech-savvy users who have concerns about charging and other such data about the cars will also be attracted towards the genre of vehicles.
There have been other apps for the iPhone and Blackberry that helps people do much of what the iPhone app promises. However, the inclusion of information about charging makes it extremely attractive to both tech aficionados and drivers alike.
At launch, the app will be available for most major smartphones, including BlackBerry, Android and iPhone, along with a mobile web application for compatibility with any phone supporting HTML-5 browser -based acces, or features phones with WAP 2.0 supported browsers, Ford said in a statement.