Electric Vehicle - Is Ford in or out?

MyFordMobile_01

Earlier on I wrote on so called compliance cars from manufacturers who are not entirely sold on the idea of having manufacture electric vehicles. Instead they do some pilot programs and test the waters with minimal numbers of EVs, while some of PR talk hints they'd rather maintain the status quo. Among the OEMs mentioned was Ford and having just read their latest plans with electric vehicles I'm still not entirely sure of what their strategy is. Are the in, or are they out?  

An impression of the MyFord Mobile service

 

MyFord Mobile

Ford has developped an App, like so many other parties around, that will direct drivers from charging station to charging station. A very convenient tool for drivers of electric vehicles. Launching this does boost the credibility that Ford might take EVs seriously in the end. But why limit the App to (a few) Ford models?

“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. Clean Technica (http://s.tt/1jwNL)

The App would also be a nice learning tool for Ford drivers in conventional cars ("Oh, are there that many charging stations?") - but also an excellent branding opportunity for drivers of other brands. A missed opportunity in my humble opinion.

First Movers?

Ford is very pleased to be able to deliver charging station data to their MyFord Mobile users, though they are far from having the first mover advantage that resonates strongly from their release:

“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. Clean Technica (http://s.tt/1jwNL)

Nissan for example already provided this service with their very first Nissan Leaf. The problem of having to collect this data from various sources is not something I am familiar with, but perhaps that is a non-Dutch problem. Over here this data is provided under one API that allows all providers to utilize the same data.

Lessons:

I think Ford is not In yet, but if they:

  1. Open up the App for everybody it would certainly add to their marketing potential
  2. Promote the implementation of a similar API to be used in the US as we have in the Netherlands
  3. Ramp up their pilot programs and roll out more of those Ford Focus EVs
I'd call them In the game.