On January 8 and 9, 2013 I was a guest of Ford Social at the 2013 International CES, which according to a CES press release, is the world’s largest annual innovation event. This is the place to be for everything cool in consumer electronics, from gesture recognition software to 12 fps DSLR cameras to touchscreen LED televisions.
So wait. What is Ford doing there? Ford has a massive display at SEMA, but CES? I assumed Ford would be there as a buyer, not as an exhibitor; but my perception quickly changed.
Outside of the Las Vegas Convention Center, Ford displays highlighted the integration of Pandora and iHeartRadio into Ford vehicles. I sat in a Shelby® GT500®,and found miniatures in the center console. The keys, however, were nowhere to be found.
Inside CES, Ford displayed several engines and vehicles. Of course, that’s what Ford makes and sells. There were also tablet computers and kitchen appliances on display in the Ford booth. Wait, what?
Between two hybrids, a wall highlighted the “MyEnergi Lifestyle® collaboration” between Ford and “leaders in the home appliance, renewable energy, and power management industries.” In Phoenix, utility companies constantly refine “time of day” rate plans, encouraging us to defer secondary tasks, like running the dishwasher or clothes dryer outside of peak demand times. Electric rates are higher from early afternoon into the evening in the summer. They expect your A/C to be maxxed out then, but chores cost more if you won’t wait until off peak times.
Still, what does Ford have to do with that?
MyEnergi Lifestyle promotes reducing one’s electricity bills and carbon footprint using home appliance technology and a plug-in vehicle to use less power and pay less for it. Ford electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles come with “value charging” guidance (via the MyFord® Mobile app.). OK, I have an Android phone. My interest is piqued. So what can we do about this, Ford? Perhaps a full-electric Focus? It is an amazing piece of technology.
As much as I like this car, I didn’t drive it. My fellow guest at CES did though, and had rave reviews. With incentives, it’s competitively priced, and there’s no gas to buy. Ever.
Me: What else ya got?
Ford: This – a 2013 Ford C-MAX Energi plug-in hybrid.
Yes. I drove one with a Ford representative riding shotgun and a camera operator in the back. Here’s what I learned:
Larry Thorson is a tech geek and the chief author of MessengerPuppet.com and DBShootings.com. He was invited to attend the 2013 International CES event by Ford Social and his airfare, hotel, ground transportation, meals as well as credentials for the event were provided by Ford Social.