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The iOS and Android app allows owners to connect to their car – which has a built in modem – from wherever they are, through cloud-based servers. They can see the battery level of their car, set it to charge ready to be at full power by a scheduled time, set the interior temperature and lock or unlock the doors, so the vehicle is comfortable and ready to go as soon as they are.
The app uses HERE maps to allow owners to find their parked vehicle. They can also plan routes and send them to the car’s on-board SYNC system. The route planner is particularly geared towards showing the nearest charging stations, countering the ‘range anxiety’ that often crops up in discussions of electric vehicles.
The app also keeps tally of how much CO2 drivers have avoided producing, the distance they’ve covered and the efficiency of their driving, showing how they might improve the charge of the vehicle further. The app offers socially shareable badges and achievements, allowing owners to share their pride in their vehicle and encouraging good habits such as the optimal use of regenerative braking.
Ford’s Abraham Philip, who looks after Connected Services for the EMEA region, told HERE 360 that people principally buy electric cars because they’re so much more environmentally friendly than the alternatives: “People are more concerned about the environment and electric cars like the Focus Electric are the ideal emission-free mobility solution for urban areas.”
City authorities, anxious about pollution, have created added incentives to go electric: “Many cities in Europe already offer services and facilities which make electric cars more desirable, such as reserved parking in Rome and free charging in Oslo.”
“Moreover, electric cars offer a different driving experience: a smoother and quieter ride.”
Affordability is key to furthering the popularity of these vehicles, though, Abraham tells us. But the signs are positive. “Many countries in Europe already offer incentives for electric car purchases. For example, France, the Netherlands and Norway implement really attractive incentive programs.”
It’s no coincidence that these countries are among those with the highest proportion of electric cars sold in the world.
HERE is delighted to be powering the routing and maps in the app. But why did Ford turn to us to provide these functions?
Abraham says it was an easy choice. “Ford Motor Company chose HERE maps because they not only have excellent coverage of European roads, but they also have one of the most accurate databases of charge station locations, which is critical to electric vehicle users.”
Have you considered buying an electric car? What would sway your own decision?