29 January, 2021

Ford trebles size of UK EV-charging network

Ford has more than trebled its UK charging network’s size ahead of delivering its new battery electric vehicle (BEV) the Mustang Mach-E. The carmaker is expanding its partnership with BP by adding pulse, the biggest public charging network in the country, to its Ford Pass charging network, growing it from 3,000 to roughly 9,500 charging points.

With increasing battery capacities eroding range anxiety, OEMs are facing up to the next big hurdle to electrically-chargeable vehicle (EV) ownership: infrastructure anxiety. Carmakers, like Ford, must convince consumers EVs can not only go the distance but will have somewhere to plug in when they arrive at their destination.

Part of the solution is offering memberships to exclusive charging networks, like Ford Pass, or Volkswagen’s We Charge. But infrastructure is out of step with EV demand, leaving carmakers to forge deals with third-party networks. This sector is also experiencing an enormous transitional period with acquisitions, like Total’sShell’s and EDF’s, taking place seemingly non-stop, alongside continual technological advances.

Finger on the pulse

With the expansion of Ford Pass, Mustang Mach-E drivers will be able to locate, navigate to, and pay for charging at over 6,600 charge points in the UK belonging to the BP pulse network This is in addition to the 3,000 existing chargers currently available to Ford’s customers, increasing its infrastructure to roughly 9,500 points in total.

Drivers of the new electric SUV will get one year’s free access to the pulse network, which consists of nearly 6,000 7kW AC points, as well as a growing number of high-power 150kW DC chargers, and 50kW DC chargers. Mach-E drivers will also get one year’s free subscription to Ionity’s ultra-fast chargers at 15 sites in the UK, and five in Ireland. For those wanting to charge at home, the carmaker also offers a Connected Wallbox, which looks to deliver up to five times the typical domestic socket's charging power.

Essential infrastructure

‘Starting 2021 with the exciting Mustang Mach-E will accelerate Ford’s progress towards electrified engines accounting for more than half of our car sales by the end of 2022,’ said Mark Harvey, Ford’s European enterprise connectivity director. ‘Key to this roll-out is the supporting infrastructure available to Ford customers, and today’s announcement demonstrates our commitment to match more electrified vehicles with enough locations to charge them.’

Ford wants to make sure its new iteration of the iconic Mustang brand does not only live up to the name but ushers its customer base into the electric age. Essential to this will be proving it can go the distance. Set to arrive in the spring, the new Mach-E boasts a WLTP range of up to 335 miles (540km) with an extended-range battery and all-wheel drive. Meanwhile, the rear-wheel-drive version will power on further with a 379-mile WLTP range.

Furthermore, thanks to its intelligent range calculations drawing on live data, the BEV produces as accurate an available range display as possible. It takes into account weather conditions en route affecting capability as well as information from other Mach-Es.