Ford and computer giant Microsoft are to work together on future electric car technology.
Ford outlined its electric car plans at the New York motor show. It will put five electric vehicles on sale by 2013, starting with the Connect Electric in late 2010 and followed by the Focus Electric in 2011, and a next-generation hybrid electric vehicle and a plug-in hybrid electric vehicle in 2013.
Starting with the Focus, the electric Fords will be compatible with Microsoft Hohm, an energy management application.
"We have to work together now more than ever to make electric vehicles more affordable," said Ford president Alan Mulally.
Hohm, which is internet-based, will help owners determine when and how to most efficiently and affordably recharge their cars, as well as helping utility companies manage the added demands of electric vehicles on the electric grid.
It will provide insight into the car owner's energy usage patterns and suggest ways of saving energy and money.
Hohm is available for free in the US for residential consumers, and is expected to be expanded globally in time.
Ford is also investigating an iPhone application that will tell users the charge status of their cars.