Ford has an interesting idea on how it can improve the reliability of electric car chargers in the United States: Charging Angels. In an interview with Automotive News, Ford CEO of Electric Vehicles Darren Palmer has announced plans to deploy employees in specially-equipped electric Ford Mach-Es to visit and test chargers when connected vehicle data or social media complaints suggest. there might be a problem.
“All they’ll do all day is go check them out to see where they’re failing and why,” Palmer said. While details of the initiative are yet to be finalized, the company expects it to launch before the end of the year, ready for the all-electric F-150 Lightning release in 2022.
“There are a lot of takes, but some of them are old and don’t have the quality or reliability that we want,” said Palmer. “Over 99.5% of customers connect to a charger and get a charge. We are delighted with it.
We experienced this problem when we looked at Ford’s Mach-E. Rather than operating its own charging stations like Tesla, Ford has the “FordPass charging network” which brings together more than 13,500 charging stations operated by other companies like Electrify America and ChargePoint. But the problem, as my colleague Sean O’Kane found out in his review earlier this year, is that the quality of maintenance between these different vendors can vary, which means you might not get a perfect charger. functional the first time. Here’s how Sean described his experience:
“For example, I took a drive to an Electrify America station, which is essentially Volkswagen’s fledgling version of Tesla’s Supercharger network, and I’ve always had problems. The first take I tried gave me repeated error messages. When I tried another take a moth flew up and then the car charged much slower than it should. It wasn’t until after trying several stands that I finally got a charging rate worth staying connected – around 77 kW, about half of what the Mustang Mach-E is ultimately supposed to get out of these. fast charging stations. (It was also sort of the only Electrify America station in all of Austin, Texas that really needs to improve its charging infrastructure.) ”
YouTuber Marques Brownlee had a similar experience when he pitted a Tesla and Mustang Mach-E against a gasoline car on a 1,000 mile road trip, and found it much easier to find a fast charger. fully functional for the Tesla. This can be a frustrating situation which means range anxiety continues to be a problem even as the range of electric cars themselves improves.