The big news across the blogosphere today was Ford teaming up with Microsoft to install Microsoft Hohm into their electric cars in order to optimize charging with the household circuits and smart grid. Everyone from FutureCars to AutoBlogGreen to Geekopedia reported this. Not surprising, since Ford sent out a huge press release on it. People tend to notice when a press release has two giant, blue logos on it from two giant, publicy-traded companies.
At the same time, those of us who cover alt-fuel vehicles also learned about Ford’s new Lincoln MKZ plug-in hybrid-electric sedan coming next year. A 41mpg luxury sedan was something worth reporting, obviously. What didn’t get mentioned in the press release for that, however, was the secret testing of the MS Hohm software in that new Lincoln.
I got the scoop on it, though, thanks to my inside sources at Microsoft and Bubba who sweeps up over at the Ford Testing Laboratory in Kentucky. I found out just what the new software looks like when installed in the new Lincoln. It ain’t pretty, folks.
Of course, Ford will claim it’s a “working prototype” as their excuse, but even that isn’t very accurate, since it includes the word “working” in it.
But hey, I’m not supposed to have this tangible proof of the whole thing.
This is all top secret, hush-hush, and on the DL, of course. Just like I can’t name Bubba’s name as the guy who took the secret picture below, I also can’t tell you who the Microsoft Engineer that confirmed this for me was. Ryobi has a family to feed and needs to keep his job.
Given all of that, though, the picture I’m about to show you isn’t the one you’ll see on the Ford press release. They obviously doctored it, which is why they had to add that little graphical disclaimer at the bottom. After the butt-wooping they took when they stole that guy’s windshield wiper plans, back in the day, Ford is pretty careful about this sort of thing.
But now we know why the Linkcoln hybrid won’t be including Hohm in its dash.
Ford announced it will instead be on the Focus Electric, which isn’t due out for a couple of years. I think ford is hoping MS will have a couple of service packs for this out by then.
At any rate, it’s obvious that neither Ford nor Microsoft wants this publicized. Especially on April Fools Day. :)