Ford's MyEnergi Lifestlye® at CES 2013

For Americans - and I generalise here - change usually depends on the bottom dollar, or a 'what’s in it for me' attitude. It's understandable; how else can you create a one-fits-all policy across such a vast country with such varying ideals and keep it real? Ford knows a little about that. They are not just American now, they are global, and it takes some seriously broad strategic thinking to be coherent and trustworthy. So, how does a car company stay in favour with America and yet nudge their customers in a more sustainable direction without asking them to foot the bill? Save them money! Simple.

I reckon it's clear that in the interconnected and socially aware world we now are becoming truly adept at managing (a steep learning curve over for most), it would be foolish not to create partnerships, liaisons and connections to secure yourself a future in the world economy. Therefore the announcement today that Ford has created a partnership with Eaton, SunPower, Whirlpool and the Georgia Institute of Technology to show that the energy-efficient home ‘not the home of the future, rather the reality of today’ at the increasingly popular and influential CES show in Las Vegas seems like a logical step in the right direction. The collaboration is called MyEnergi Lifestyle®.

“More than ever, cars are sharing the same energy source as the home,” says Mike Tinskey, global director of Vehicle Electrification and Infrastructure, Ford Motor Company. “The time is right for the home appliance and transportation sectors to converge if we are going to tackle a myriad of sustainability challenges in a rapidly changing world.”

Ford's CMAX Energi could be part of you MyEnergi Lifestlye®

The basic idea is that, in a perfect world, if the average American family would use an electric vehicle (preferably one of Ford's), eco home appliances and solar power, as per the lovely infographic below, then their energy costs could be reduced by 60% over a year. More interestingly to us is that CO2 waste would be reduced by 50% over the same year. Ford have not done themselves any favours by comparing 1995 appliances and a 25mpg vehicle to 2012 figures by any stretch of the imagination. With today’s home appliances costing less to buy new  than to repair, no-one - certainly no average American family - will own a toaster or washing machine from 1995! Please.

The point is, that Ford has embraced a bigger idea. They are striking up relations with other industries with the awareness that power is shared. Together they can still keep a strong customer base by feeding off each other’s brand loyalty and know-how. Ford knows that a connected life is here to stay and are anticipating that future by preparing the average American today. It would have been a real coup, however, if they would have delivered a rather less dumbed down version of the possibilities for creating a more sustainable home and not referred to their customers as' average'. In the connected world, everyone has an ID, everyone is an individual, and everyone is anything but average. Smart move, wrong language.

On the bright side, MyEnergi Lifestyle® collaborators also announced plans to award a typical American family with delivery and installation of energy-saving products from each company, along with other leading energy-efficient products, so stay posted as we will tweet this when we get more details. Expect more car companies to relinquish their precious stronghold on trade secrets and play ball with other industries to streamline and create more sustainable and cost efficient products that relate more and more to their increasingly savvy customers. That this year will witness a real shift away from business as usual as is evident from car companies falling over themselves to be the showstopper at CES. Consumer Electronics Show: more important than the Detroit Motor Show? Another debate! 

Ford Fusion Energi named Connected World Connected Car of the Year 2013

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