An interesting feature in the Focus Electric that I think I’ll enjoy much more as the weather gets chillier is the “Go Times”. Along with scheduling when it charges you can also schedule the car to “turn on” up to twice a day. About 10-15 minutes prior to the scheduled time, if plugged in, the car will power up and set the climate system to a desired temperature (65, 72, or 85 degrees F).
This works out quite well if you have a fixed schedule during the week: My car is setup to warm itself up to 72 degrees every weekday morning just before I leave for work. I figured out that the car will keep running for up to 15 minutes after the “Go” time and have thus scheduled the time to 10 minutes prior my departure time–this lets the car warm up (or cool down) for an extra 10 minutes before I leave (something I’m sure will come in handy in January!).
In addition to heating/cooling the cabin for the driver’s comfort; setting the “Go” time also lets the car heat/cool the battery to the optimum temperature. This piece of the “Go” times is likely more important than driver comfort as the battery’s performance is affected more by temperature than the driver’s. A very hot or very cold battery will not provide the same range in the car as one at a nice and toasty 70 degrees or so.