Ford has a pair of new hybrid vehicles for release soon in the form of the Fusion Energi and the C-MAX Energi. While the idea of hybrid and all-electric vehicles is a nice one that's starting to gain some ground, it's hard to ignore some of the bigger problems with the concept. One of the biggest such problems is finding a place to plug in the car and get some recharge going, but Ford has a solution with the help of PlugShare to help point users in the right direction to get some wattage going into their vehicles once more.
PlugShare is one of the biggest names in terms of aggregating locations of public charge stations, which makes them a natural choice for Ford to tap in terms of getting real-time information about charge stations in a vehicle's immediate area to the users. To that end, Ford will be incorporating PlugShare's systems into Ford's MyFord Mobile smartphone app, giving users an easy way to tell, at a glance, where the nearest public charge stations can be found. The PlugShare influence, however, won't be limited to simple mapping, as PlugShare also offers--via its website at least--photos and reviews of those charging stations, as well as a social component in the ability to check in at these stations.
Better yet, the MyFord Mobile app itself allows for some point-of-interest searching to go on in there as well, meaning that the synthesis of the two will not only allow users to look for places to recharge their cars, they'll also be able to find places to recharge themselves as well.
For instance, users will be able to search for "pizza" near a charging station and not only find the charging station but also a pizza place. This allows drivers to select destinations based on the distance from that destination to a recharge point. MyFord Mobile will also be keeping its ability to check battery charge levels, as well as some new updates to trip and charge log information to monitor efficiency of the drive.
While there are still several factors keeping users from going to the plug-in vehicle or the hybrid route--expense, limited overall stock, issues of weather performance among others--the idea of owning an electric vehicle that's every bit as useful as a gas-powered vehicle is one that's gaining ground.
It may take some time to get there, of course, but with improvements in overall system capability and new apps like the revamped MyFord Mobile, the electric car may be a much more popular choice in the near future.
Edited by Amanda Ciccatelli