MyFord Mobile For Focus Electric…Car App King
The MyFord Mobile App, previously only available for Apple products and desktops, is now available for Android, and let there be no question that the prize for most connectivity bells and whistles is unequivocally in the hands of Ford.
This app opens with a beautiful animated load screen showing butterflies flying up from the bottom through the blue oval and out the top of the screen…nice.
A very convenient touch is that instead of having to login with your screen name and password you can optionally submit a 4 digit code to bypass that; we like that option as it is faster and easier, especially on those of us with thick or errant thumbs.
The home screen indicates all the important things. How full is the battery, what is the range and am I plugged in? The plugged in or not status is indicated in words and very cleverly is also indicated in the picture.
Interestingly, the car featured in the picture is the actual color of your car. Tapping on the car or the battery brings up more detailed info. However, I personally refuse to be impressed until the background changes to reflect the time of day, phase of the moon and current weather at the vehicle.
There is this notion from people who do not have an EV that when you are driving around in a car that happens to have no engine you are going to be constantly on the lookout for and generally concerned about the location of charging stations.
To attend to this need Ford offers up a map showing your location and the location of charging stations. Those in green are within the range of the vehicle those in red are not.
Clicking on a charging station also brings up detailed info on the station and if available a phone number, which you will definitely want to use before banking on it being in good working order.
That said, most people who will be buying these cars have a set commute in mind that they know they can drive, and will have planned out ahead of time whether charging at work is necessary and/or available. Put another way, the charging will largely be happening at home or work. If you are buying a car hoping to be able primarily charge it using that lonely charging station you’ve seen down at Walgren’s you are setting yourself up for disappointment.
Forgot where you parked your car? Wonder where your teenage kid is at at 3am? No problem MFM has you covered with the Vehicle Locator screen. Undoubtedly the teen age kid will figure out how to disable this feature long before you even get it set up. The screen also shows where you are located at, in case your forgot that too. Oh, like you’ve never asked yourself “where am I?”
In this shot the location of the vehicle is represented by the car icon. The person icon represents me, sitting in my office pining away for my Focus Electric which is 90 miles away at the dealer. Where it has been for 2 weeks! (More on that later)
The Trip & Charge Log is where you see how good or bad you’ve been. And scores like this are not going to take you to the top of your regional leader boards. It has been noted that the rounding on these logs makes them less than ideal for the hardcore mi/kWh junkie. Best stick to the trip screen in the car itself where the resolution is finer.
The Trends screen is where you can see your achievements, overall driving style ratings, and information about money saved and CO2 emissions avoided, average Wh/mi and total consumption for the month. Let the record reflect that before my FFE was taken in the dealer for analysis I was maxed out at Zen Master.
In addition to Achievement Awards when you do things like, drive x miles in trip, or generate x miles from regen, Ford also motivates you to drive greener by pitting you against your fellow FFE owners. You will be ranked in various categories. To keep the competition fair, Ford groups owners by region so that you are presumably competing against drivers who have comparable climate.
One Category is the Renaissance Man which a sort of ranks you on all of the driving skills necessary to save energy. Oh look there, yours truly just happens to be in first place. Eat my electrons players!
Charge Settings is where you can schedule “go times and set up value charging profiles. Value charging profiles work with your utility to establish the best time to charge based on your time of use utility rates. Go Times tell the car “hey this is when I’m going to work, be fully charged by this time.” Also and this is very good, the car can be set to precondition at the time you specify. Using electricity from the wall and not the battery to have the car toasty or chilled as suits the season.
The Notification screen is very extensive, and you can set up for notification by text, email or MFM. Yes there’s no denying it, this is just way cool. You go Ford. Competition complete? Seems that Ford has some local competitions in mind in which extra achievements can be earned.
If you are thinking you want none of this competition stuff (or achievement awards), you may find yourself surprised once you slip into EV ownership. People naturally gravitate to seeing how efficient they can be in an EV, even those who once took delight in the dulcet tones of exhaust notes.
In general the MFM app seems to update more quickly than the Onstar app from GM which really adds to its utility.
Believe it or not, we’ve only touched on things here, there is much more to see and do with MFM, and it would not surprise if Ford expands on the options down the road. The Focus Electric offers the full entourage of connectivity and information features inside the car, and now MyFord Mobile has matched that very high level for connecting outside the vehicle.