Yesterday I was reading news that at the Washington DC Consumer Electronics Show two products by Ford were getting a lot of buzz. The first was the 2012 Ford Focus Electric car which is supposed to roll into showrooms later this year.
The second product creating a lot of buzz in the MyFordMobileApp. Now, if you own a Ford Focus Electric and have a MyFordMobileApp on your smart phone, here is what drivers can do:
• access their car’s current charge information
• locate charging stations and determine if they are reachable given the
• current charge
• plan trips by evaluating the number of stops and charge time needed
• locate their car using GPS
• remotely unlock/lock doors and activate climate control
So, this is all well and good and I applaud Ford and the application developers for creating a handy tool for the iPhone, iPad, Android OS phone and any other gizmo the app can work on. But, I am also left wondering, where is the killer app for hydrogen cars?
Besides the Ford Focus Electric car, the Detroit automaker also has had under development for the past several years the Ford Focus FCV. Where’s the app for that?
Sometimes it seems like the hydrogen car is the ugly stepchild to the electric car which is getting all the press and glory now days. After consumers become fully aware of the limitations of electric cars I am confident that consumer confidence will swing back to H2 vehicles.
In the meanwhile, here’s a hydrogen car app I would like to see developed by Ford or any other major automaker who builds hydrogen cars. Let’s call this MyH2CarMobileApp and here is the desired functionality:
• Access the car’s current fuel information remotely
• If the H2 car is a plug-in hybrid, then access its charge information as well
• Locate hydrogen fueling stations using GPS and determine if they are commercial and open for business (operating hours) plus reachable given the driver’s current amount of fuel
• Plan trips by determining the number of stops at open commercial hydrogen fueling stations
• Calculate amount of fuel needed for the trip
• Calculate the price of fuel at each station and the cost of the trip before starting out
• Calculate alternative routes if needed
• Locate car using GPS
• Remotely open / lock doors and activate climate control
In recent days apps are a dime a dozen. In the city where I live there is even an app for reporting potholes that need to be fixed by the City. It’s simple and the potholes get fixed within days not weeks, months or never. As high tech as hydrogen cars are, you would think that one of the automakers would invest a small amount of money to hire a programmer to create a killer hydrogen car app. So, this is my challenge to the makers of hydrogen cars. You’ve got the cars, now where’s the app?