There is a lot going on here

Check out the Bolt’s dash:


This is the “enhanced” view (there are 3 views: ok, better, and this one LOL). The enhanced view shows the most information of all the 3 views.

For the basics you’ve got the speed in the big digits top center (along with a compass above it). To the left is the cruise control’s settings (on/off, set speed). Below that is configurable; things like the radio display, trip meter (as seen here), tire pressure, phone, etc. (Note that there are only 25 miles driven on this charge in city streets so my miles/kWh value is much higher than I’ve been getting. Since I reset the trip meter at full charge its artificially high–I’ve been getting between 4 and 4.2 miles/kWh so far. May have to make another post about the kind of range I’ve been getting; perhaps when I put a few more miles on the car…)

The ring around that display (in grey here) changes color based on your current efficiency (this would be similar to “status” on the FFE except that its more instant efficiency–there is another piece in this display that is closer to the FFE’s “status” indicator; more on that in a moment). The ring changes from green to yellow based upon your current driving style/state. Most noticeably it begins to turn yellow when you go faster than about 65 mph and is full yellow at 70 mph (haven’t gone much faster to see if it goes completely red or not).

On the right is the power display. The number will tell you how much power draw (or generation) the car is using. It turns green for regen (and the little regen display animates). In addition to that the horizontal line just to the left of the 1 kW is a bar graph growing one way for power consumption and the other for regeneration.

Below that is the PRNDL display and the go/no go green car (similar to the FFE’s green “ready to go car”). On the top right is the parking brake indicator.

The left contains the “fuel gauge”: The green bar graph gives you a decent approximation of the % of battery left (with tick marks at the quarter positions). The three numbers comprise the car’s GOM (Guess-O-Meter): The top one is an estimate of your maximum range remaining if you drive as efficiently as possible, the middle one is your range based on your current driving habits/style/etc. and the bottom is the minimum range to expect if you drove it like you stole it. Now there is another gauge hidden here: That grey arc just to the left of the green bar graph. This one is the display that more closely matches the FFE’s “status” indicator (when no route is programmed in). This graph will display how well you’re driving against your past history. If you drive more efficiently a green bar will grow from the center towards the top; less efficiently a yellow bar will grow from the center towards the bottom. This gauge isn’t instant like the power meter at the right; its more of a rolling average–like the GOM itself–so it reacts slower. Thus you may be driving on the freeway at 70 mph and see the green bar grow and think: “what? how can I be more efficient at 70 mph”–its because its more of a trend over your trip instead of an instant value. My guess here is that it is an indication of which range to expect given how you’ve been driving. The closer the bar gets to one of the values (max, average, or min) the more you can expect that range from this charge.

To finish things off: the bottom left has the vehicle’s odometer.

Compared to the FFE’s dash; I like it. Sure it doesn’t display some of the things the FFE did (many of those values can be seen on the entertainment system’s display: like the proportion of energy devoted to climate controls instead of propulsion, electricity consumed since last charge, etc.) and in some cases you get more information (specifically a power value for regen–the FFE just had a twirly thing letting you know it was regenerating).


There is a lot going on here

Bar graphing down the road

Ok, headline writer I’m not! LOL

The Focus Electric had an interesting bar graph display:

This would show you how well you’re driving in specific intervals (5, 10, or 15 minutes). The display lived within the “MyView” section on the left dash display. This meant that you had to select that display or another–there was no real way to show other displays along with it. Note that on the FFE the MyView is split into two small displays. In the above image the bar graph consists of one configurable area, and the Climate/Other display is in another configurable area…so you did have some options.

I liked this display because it would give me a short history of how I was driving in a glance, but it really didn’t have all the details I wanted so I would frequently have a different display up:

The information dense display here is the column with the Wh/mi x 100 inside it. This shows: instant power consumption (the white line at the top), average power consumption (the two white tick marks), and power required for the current “budget” (blue “cup”).

Now, on the C-Max Energi, I get the best of both worlds. Here is how I’ve had the C-Max’s dash board setup:

Note the bar graph display on the right–a similar bar graph that the FFE would show on the left. Now I can have both the bar graph displayed, and the information dense display on the left (on the FFE I’d leave the right screen set on navigation which would show a compass, the name and speed limit of the current street–the C-Max has the same display available but I found I didn’t use it that much).

On the bar graph display at right: The far left bar (one with the 0, 40, 60, 100 scale) shows the instant miles/gal, the 5 bars show the history in 10 minute intervals (configurable), and the line shows the current average mpg.

The left has a really busy display showing power from the gas engine, electric motor, climate consumption, and “other” (typically other is the defroster, radio, seat heat, etc.). Its fun to watch the gas/electric graphs bounce around as you drive and the car switches between the two. In addition there is an arrow above or below the battery showing when the battery is being discharged or charged (below the battery is an icon showing which mode the car is currently in–EV later in this case).

After all this reading you’re probably thinking: Hey keep your eyes on the road! Yeah, I know: driving either car around is like driving a video game! LOL Once you get used to the displays only a quick glance down at the dash is all that is needed to ascertain your current status; even though its busy you do get used to it and can scrape the information you’re looking for very quickly.


Bar graphing down the road

Whats with that blue cup?

What blue cup? This one on the dash:
The Blue Cup
I’ve covered it a little bit in the posting “What Can Your dash tell you?” but I figured it could use a bit more explanation.

You can find the blue cup on the left display (the Message Center). There are several ways to show it: As a few options in “Display Mode” and as one of the screens in “Energy”. When you configure the “Display Mode” custom view make sure you grab the indicator as shown above (you can select it with or without tick marks–the tick marks are important…keep reading).

This display shows you 3 items all related to power consumption: Your “instantaneous” value of Watt hours per mile (the white line), your average Watt hours per mile for the current trip (white tick marks) and the “blue cup”. These items are related to the budget display and the guess-o-meter as follows:

The guess-o-meter uses an average power consumption value (similar to the white tick marks) to estimate the range remaining on the battery: As the white tick marks move down (a lower average) you’ll notice that the range to empty shown on the guess-o-meter will increase (an educated guess).

The budget display shows the range to empty based on when you started your trip (or the distance to the next waypoint/destination). The all important blue cup shows you where your power consumption needs to be in order to make the budget. If you can keep the white tick marks at or below the level of the blue cup you’ll be able to drive the budget distance (or make it to the next waypoint/destination).

This indicator contributes greatly to the “video game feel” of driving the FFE around: You’re constantly trying to “beat your score” by keeping the tick marks well below the top of the blue cup. It becomes more and more challenging because the blue cup will get shorter for more efficient drives thus as you make trip after trip driving efficiently the blue cup will get shorter and shorter until you can’t possibly get any more efficient but you’ll try anyway LOL.

About that white line: The white line will move up and down in realtime as you speed up and slow down. You can’t possibly use the white line to modulate your power consumption (good luck keeping it in the blue cup while your climbing even a modest grade). You can try to keep it in the blue cup as much as possible but the real indicator if your driving efficiently is the tick marks.

If you don’t really like the fancy graphics of the blue cup display you can always just use the hard numbers approach: Instead of the blue cup display set the Message Center to show the enhanced trip meter. The enhanced trip meter will show miles driven, power consumed, average Wh/mile, and elapsed time since last reset. The trick to using the trip meter is to reset the meter when the car is fully charged and try to minimize the average Wh/mile value.

The video game nature of these displays makes it easy and fun to maximize your range when driving the FFE around.


Whats with that blue cup?

A “new” display…

Playing around with the myriad of display options in the Focus Electric sometimes reveals a gem or two. Even now after driving a few months I stumbled upon a configuration of “MyView” that I don’t think I’ve tried before:
MyView Display
In this view I’ve switched the climate and “other” power meters to the right display and am showing the “power bars”. The “power bars” show the power consumption over the past 5 intervals (intervals can be set for 1, 2, and 5 minutes each making the 5 bars show 5, 10, or 25 minutes of power consumption. In this image I have them set for 1 minute each).
This display serves to show a rolling average of your driving over the past few minutes. Time will tell if I like this new display over my previous favorite information dense display (seen below, and discussed here):
FFE My View display

A “new” display…