Microsoft and Ford have joined forces to apply the Microsoft Hohm software application to the upcoming Ford Focus EV, scheduled for North American release in 2011. Hohm is a net-based application that tracks and predicts an operator's energy usage patterns and helps him or her lower cost and maximize efficiency by aiding scheduling and giving feedback on usage patterns and costs.
In this application, it will keep track of off-peak rate-breaks by the utility and assist the EV owner to choose efficient (and inexpensive) recharge times, while matching them to driving patterns and the amount of charging required.
Ford plans to introduce three EV's in Europe and North America by 2013, Including the commercial Transit Connect Electric van this year, the Focus EV in 2011 and a yet-to-be-named EV in 2012. In promoting the tie-in of the internet-based Hohm software, Ford and Microsoft site a recent accenture survey which found that 42 percent of consumers who are interested in buying a car in the next two years, say they are likely to buy a hybrid or EV. Insofar as some experts have concerns about straining the capacity of existing grid technology if EV use should skyrocket, the idea is that tools like Hohm will assist in load-management and aid consumers with the most efficient and least expensive ways to operate the new technology.