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Ford and Microsoft announced they are joining forces to make the charging of Ford's all-new electric Focus more efficient.

At a Ford news conference at the New York Auto Show, Microsoft chief exec Steve Ballmer said they have developed software for the Focus that determines the best time to recharge the car. Ford said it's planning on developing a iPhone app that would allow the managing recharging remotely.

According to Ford chief executive Alan Mulally, charging an electric car can double the energy used at a home. He also said in the future, as electric cars become more mainstream, they will be the the biggest energy drain of a household's energy bill. On a wider scale, all these charging electric cars can cause a "traffic jam" on the national electric grid.

Now, I'm all for efficiency, but this new Mircrosoft power management system seems like a lot of hoopla. Granted, I'm no national utility expert, but I'm going to assume most people will be charging their cars between 11 p.m. and 7 a.m., in other words the hours when they are sleeping. These times also happen to be when the least strain falls on the power grid.

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So why do we need extra software to figure this simple concept out?

Photos: Newsday/Jose Moreno

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