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Saw this two-week review of the Focus Electric by Forbes. Interesting tech for how a car can be more than a utility. Highlights the range anxiety problem, but also showcases some of the cooler tech. With all the data Google, Apple and Bing have on geography, topography, traffic, etc., you'd think car navigation systems could tie into GPS and the vehicle's current state of charge/fuel levels to better predict range and whether or not a car has sufficient fuel to make it to the destination (and if not, to adjust the route accordingly so you pass by a gas station or charging point).

http://www.forbes.com/sites/toddwoody/2012/07/16/the-ford-focus-electric-a-tesla-model-s-for-the-middle-class/

Let's say, you have a range of 35 miles left on your car to go 15 miles to your destination. There's a charging station 5 miles away. But you press on, thinking you have enough range to go to/fro, roundtrip. But what you forget to realize is that most of those 15 miles are up a steep, windy mountain road, in the heat of summer, so the actual range is more like 16 miles. Wouldn't it be great if your car's nav would know based on the topography and driving route you punched in, and data on the car's mass (and reduced range due to mass/grade of road/etc), that it advises you to recharge BEFORE you pass the last charging station?
 
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