Based on the benefits of its own analysis of anonymized driving data from its plug-in hybrid and battery electric vehicle customers, Ford is encouraging the adoption of a standard way to analyze driving data for OEMs and regulatory agencies to understand the real world electric driving usage in comparison to regulatory test cycles.
In a presentation at the SAE 2017 Hybrid & Electric Vehicle Technologies Symposium in San Diego last week, Brett Hinds, Chief Engineer, Electrified Powertrain Engineering, Ford Motor Company, said that using the embedded modem in Ford PHEVs and BEVs, the company has collected (as part of the MyFord Mobile service), from 2013 through now, data from 35,185 unique vehicles over more than 80.6 million trips.
As the vehicle drives, the data is uploaded to the cloud; customers have access for 30 days. The data is anonymized and stored in secure servers at Ford, where it is analyzed by a customized suite of tools.
Ford has compared its MyFord Mobile (MFM) data to the Atlanta regional travel survey, recognized as representative of US driving.
We have very good representation. This says two things. One, that MyFord Mobile customers represent the large population. This gives us confidence as we start presenting data and analyzing the data of our customers, we are not just representing those three vehicle, we are representing the entire driving population.
The other that was interesting from this data, is that is shows that PHEV customers are not unique. They fit into the category of everybody else. PHEV customers aren’t self-selecting themselves. They are not restricting their driving. They are just getting in their car, they are taking advantage of having a PHEV vehicle, and they are driving wherever they like.—Brett Hinds
For every customer in the MFM data, Ford has established a distribution of trip profiles, based on where they were going, how often they were moving, how often they started the vehicle. All that data can be mathematically represented by a Gaussian plus exponential decay, Hinds said.
This is the piece that Ford would like to share for the industry to consider moving forward. The Gaussian distribution represents your normal distribution of drives around an average day. Then there is an exponential decay that represents special tips.—Brett Hinds
From this, Ford has has extracted:
Habitual daily driving distance (HDD). HDD is the most typical day that a customer travels. Ford determines the points, and then can plot the customer distribution of average days. Ford data shows that the 50th percentile customer drives just under 30 miles every day.
Largest repetitive daily distance (RDD). This is the largest distance that is traveled with an occurrence of at least 2% of the total days—about 5 days out of year. This provides insight into the sizing of BEV range, Hinds said. Based on RDD, Ford data shows that a 300-mile BEV will cover 100% of the RDD.
Longest daily distance (LDD). This covers the 98th percentile customer. This covers how far they went in any one single chain of events. Based on Ford data, a 300-mile BEV will not cover that distance. Too, going from a 300-mile BEV to a 300-mile BEV picks up only an additional 10% of the customer base. This, said Hinds, is where DC fast charging comes into play.
OEMs should adopt a standard way of analyzing data and use this data to design next generation BEVS or xEVs. We also think it gives us an opportunity to discuss with regulatory agencies, who can also use this data to set regulations that more closely reflect real-world driving conditions.—Brett Hinds
Ford PHEV sales up strongly in 2016. Separately, Ford announced that its plug-in hybrid midsize sedan, Fusion Energi, saw a 63% increase in sales in 2016 to 15,938 units from 9,750 in 2015.
Overall, sales of its plug-in hybrids (Fusion and C-MAX) increased 38% from 17,341 units in 2015 to 23,895 units in 2016. Sales of the battery electric Focus dropped 45% from 1,582 units in 2015 to 872 units in 2016.
Sales of Fusion Energi have more than doubled in greater New York, with retail performance up 104% in 2016. New York ranks as the third best-selling region for the car, behind only Los Angeles and San Francisco.
Ford ended 2016 with a record 17% share of the electrified vehicle market, up 3 points over 2015. Toyota, which lost about 3 points, now stands at 53 percent, down from 56%. This comes despite Toyota having launched a new Prius model last year.
In addition to Fusion Energi, Ford’s electrified vehicle lineup includes Fusion Hybrid, C-MAX Hybrid and C-MAX Energi, and Focus Electric.