Microsoft: Hohm On The Range Anxiety

Edward Niedermeyer
by Edward Niedermeyer
microsoft hohm on the range anxiety

Reuters reports that Ford and Microsoft are deepening ties that began with the Sync hands-free system, announcing a new online app aimed at plug-in vehicle owners. “Hohm,” as the new app is called, will be made available for free to owners of Ford electric vehicles, and will “help vehicle and home owners decide when to power up electric vehicle batteries, in the hope that consumers will draw power from the grid at night, when energy use and costs are lower” according to Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer. Which leaves only one problem: the fact that Ford doesn’t sell any electric vehicles. An EV version of the Transit Connect commercial van will be made available later this year, one of five EVs Ford says it will sell by 2013. But how much will EV recharging be about planning the most efficient time to maximize grid downtime? Won’t people who use their EV every day simply plug in when they get home and unplug when they head to work in the morning? Does there really need to be an app for this? Oh right, as a society we’ve stopped asking that particular question. Very well, carry on.

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  • Nick Nick on Mar 31, 2010 Don't get too close to Microsoft Ford! Hackers might make you suddenly accelerate. Speaking of which, the spate of wall-hittings and police interventions seems to be petering out.

  • Steven02 Steven02 on Mar 31, 2010

    I agree with jmo. It would be great if you could plug in the car, but it wouldn't start charging until rates were cheaper.

  • Dynamic88 Dynamic88 on Mar 31, 2010

    So essentially Ford and MS are trying to catch up with Nissan. The Leaf will allow one to set the time for charging - and you can do it with your cell phone. The problem for now is that if you don't spring for the 220V charger, then you have little choice but to start charging as soon as you get home - and it will just about be fully charged 16 hours later when it's time to go to work.

  • Blue adidas Blue adidas on Mar 31, 2010

    This sounds like a good idea. Hopefully they will take into account weather and accessory use. Temperature, HVAC, windshield wipers, lighting and various other electronics would greatly impact EV range. There are so many factors to consider, most people probably won't be able to accurately determine this on their own.