Ford teams with Microsoft to boost e-car prospects image

Ford Motor Co. and Microsoft Corp. announced Wednesday that they are teaming again; this time in an effort to make widespread adoption of the electric car a reality.

Ford said it plans to use Microsoft’s Hohm electric-car charging optimization service to help drivers determine the ideal time to charge their vehicles and how to best minimize impact on the grid.
Ford points out that powering up electric vehicles can effectively double home energy consumption and managing the expected spike in demand is critical.

“For Ford, this is a needed step in the development of the infrastructure that will make electric vehicles viable,” CEO Alan Mulally said in a statement.

The Internet-based service will be used for the Focus Electric plug-in hybrid in 2011, and in two next-generation hybrids in 2012.

Microsoft and Ford have already proven to be a successful partnership with the Sync system, a decade-long effort designed to improve drivers’ in-car experiences. Sync was launched in 2007 and has been installed on more than 2 million Ford, Lincoln and Mercury vehicles.