Ford has announced a new system that is designed to extend the electric only driving range of its hybrid and electric vehicles. The system is called EV+, and Ford has a patent pending on the system. EV+ is part Ford's SmartGauge system that is standard on many of Ford's plug-in hybrids, including the C-Max and others.
The system combines the integrated GPS of Ford Sync with some proprietary software algorithms Ford engineers developed to learn frequent destinations for the vehicle. Once those frequent destinations have been learned, EV+ adjusts how electric power stored in the vehicle battery packs is used to power the vehicle.
The system then learns when a vehicle is near a frequent destination, such as your home, and will remain in electric-only mode if possible. Normally, the vehicle would switch between electric and gasoline modes depending on the speed among other things. Ford says that the positional data the system requires and saves can be deleted and the feature can be turned off at the press of a button.
When the system detects that the vehicle is within a radius of 1/8 of a mile or 200 m a frequent stop the ability to stay in electric-only mode is increased. Drivers will know that EV+ is engaged because a EV+ light on the dash will light up.