National

Mar 31, 2010 11:05 AM by Associated Press

Ford, Microsoft to work on electric-car charging

Ford Motor Co. and Microsoft Corp. say they will work together on creating a computerized link between houses, electric cars and utility companies to help manage energy use.

The companies said Wednesday at the New York International Auto Show that this is the beginning of a smart system that will help utilities and customers manage energy costs and use.

The system would start with the all-electric Ford Focus compact car that goes on sale in late 2011. The system would allow utilities to vary electric rates based on the time of day. A computer would determine the best time to recharge the car at the lowest cost.

Charging an electric car can double the energy used at a home, and utilities worry about the increased burden on their power generators.

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