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New York 2010: Ford and Microsoft announce Hohm electric vehicle charging partnership

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Filed under: Hybrid, Ford, Electric


Alongside the debut of the Lincoln MKZ Hybrid at this year's New York Auto Show, Ford announced an extension of its partnership with Microsoft (see also: Sync) into the electric vehicle (EV) recharging realm. The new space that Microsoft and Ford want to take over is your garage; the method of attack is the free Hohm energy management application.

Hohm is a cloud-based system that can be used today to manage and control home energy usage. When it comes to future EVs and home charging, the system will be able to automate and optimize recharging and, most likely, communicate with a smartphone to relay information and update settings (need to turn off your dryer for some reason while you're at work, Hohm can let you do that). The MyFord Touch and Sync technologies could also be integrated into the system, allowing your car to tell you it wants to be recharged at night during off-peak hours.

Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer appeared via satellite during Ford's press conference to promote the new direction that these two companies are going in together. Ballmer said, "electric cars are going to transform so much of our society" and that information technology will be critical in getting EVs on the road. Ford president and CEO Alan Mulally said that this partnership "makes electric vehicles viable." Ford's group vice president of global product development, Derrick Kuzak, said that Hohm will make EVs "a reality for everyone, not just a lucky few" because it manages the cost for the end user and helps utilities manage and understand the EV load.

But Kuzak also said that Hohm will help people evaluate if their home is ready for an EV, implying that not everyone will be able to use Hohm (an obvious point, but it negates his pie-in-the-sky "EVs for everyone" statement). We'll be able to draw our own conclusions once the all-electric Focus becomes the first Ford EV to use Hohm, probably some time in 2011.

Gallery: Ford Hohm


[source: Ford]

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New York 2010: Ford and Microsoft announce Hohm electric vehicle charging partnership originally appeared on Autoblog on Wed, 31 Mar 2010 14:21:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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