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Ford pushing for common industry metrics to understand customer daily electric driving requirements

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.



' Too, going from a 300-mile BEV to a 300-mile BEV picks up only an additional 10% of the customer base.'

That 10% sounds like pretty good going for the increase in range! :-0

Perhaps 200 and 300, or 300 and 400?


It seems like a good idea that everyone should use data taken in a similar manner.
This manner seems to be designed to promote PHEVs - Most of the daily drives can be done with a 30 mile range, but you get an upper tail on the distribution that can best be dealt with by a PHEV, or rapid charging.
IMO, PHEVs are the way to go, but are expensive (requiring two full power engines) and complicated control software.
A battery EV would be much simpler. as long as you can charge it quickly, or swap it for another vehicle.

[ A neighbor of my mother's had a Nissan Leaf, and you could see ICE cars parked all around it. All he needed was the ability (agreement) to swap with an ICE for the occasional long run, and he would have been fine. ]


No one seems to mind that Tesla, Ford and others data log and take information. Where you go, how often and other information is routinely taken and stored without you knowing.


And Apple and Google.

Dr. Strange Love

System Requirement Specifications, Version 1.0

ReqID 1: The system shall travel 500 miles on a single battery charge in 0 Degree Fahrenheit weather with the Cabin at a constant temperature of 70 degrees Fahrenheit,

ReqID 2: The system shall travel 500 miles on a single battery charge in 100 Degree Fahrenheit weather with the Cabin at a constant temperature of 70 degrees Fahrenheit,

ReqID 3: The system shall be accessible to the average Consumer with a Base starting price of $20,000

Can anyone think-up some additional requirements?


"No one seems to mind that Tesla, Ford and others data log and take information. Where you go, how often and other information is routinely taken and stored without you knowing."

Posted by: SJC | February 13, 2017 at 09:26 AM

At least on my Energi, the system warns you on the center screen and you have to agree to it, so you do have to opt in. It's up to you.


Good, that makes it a bit better for that model.


@DSL You can see what Ford are pushing at.
You can do 90% of your driving with a 10 KwH battery, 98% with a 100kwH battery, so the sweet spot is about 10KwH and some kind of petrol / diesel engine for the long runs.
IMO, if you can cut your fuel usage 90%, you are more or less there, and you can do this with 1/6 - 1/10 the battery capacity of a BEV.
The cost is complexity, and having two engines, but you could use a modified gas engine that really only has to act as a generator and make it simpler and lower emissions by restricting the revs range.
But with complexity, once you solve it, it stays solved, so you can just use it - existing ICE engines and microprocessors are very complicated, but they are 10 a penny, and have been for decades.


All the data will not override perception. If people want a car that will go 400 miles on a fill up, that is what they want and think they need.

You make a good point, SJC, but these perceptions can change over time with education.

People who drive a Volt need no convincing; the car simply works. Their friends and neighbors eventually figure it out too.

With the Bolt and Model 3, it will be a similar transference. The cars work well enough that the requirements get adjusted.

Dr SL, the only people looking for 500 mile all-electric range are Harvey and people who have never driven a PHEV or 200+ mile BEV with fast charging. There's a lot of education to be done, but that is starting to happen now and will scale over the next few years.


Perhaps, but <1% after a decade does not show people are rushing to buy an EV.



We need a 500+ Km BEV/PHEV because we don't have charging facilities in our internal/external garages (and we will not for 5 to 10 years) and I will not sit in public charging stations for 30+ minutes 2 or 3 times a week.

A 500 Km FCEV will soon be one of the acceptable solution, i.e. as soon as enough (public and private) H2 stations are installed. The initial price of FCEVs will fall after 2020.

An affordable all weather 500+ Km ADV-BEV would be an ideal solution but it will not happen before 2025/2030, when batteries reach 500+ Wh/Kg and their price falls way below $100/KW.

Meanwhile, we will keep driving our 3 excellent Toyota HEVs.

Volt and Leaf appeared in 2010. It's really only been in the last few years that a wide range of models have appeared, and the most popular vehicles in the US, trucks and SUVs are not available to the mainstream public in EV or PHEV form yet (notwithstanding BMW, MB, Porsche, Tesla, very high end Volvo).

Lack of availability and advertising have been the big drags. That's about to change, and we'll see growth go from 60% YoY in 2016 to nearly 100% by 2018.

We recently added a Volt to the family fleet. There's no downside in operation whatsoever, yet it is truly all-electric in daily driving. The current subsidies of $7.5k in the US $10k total in California and several other states far exceed the incremental cost of the dual drivetrain.

This is a successful template for all cars until fast charge infrastructure is available everywhere it's needed and 200-300 mile batteries are cheaper than the Range extending ICE.

Well designed 50-80 mile PHEVs like the Volt or BMW i3 make the viability of Hydrogen a real head-scratcher.

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