Meet the "Charge Angels."
The all-new Ford Mustang Mach-E is the company's first-ever all-electric model built from the ground up. In the past, it relied on heavily modified versions of existing vehicles for its EV. But with any technology, especially one that's as complex as full-scale electrification, there are bound to be a few hiccups at first. Unfortunately, this could lead to dissatisfied customers and dent Ford's reputation. In short, technical issues are normal but they need to be resolved quickly, especially when it involves charging stations.
At present, Ford has 63,000 charging plugs and counting throughout the country thanks to Electrify America, ChargePoint, and other third-party chargers. No Mach-E owner wants to pull into a charging station only to discover the plug is broken or, worse yet, vandalized.
Darren Palmer, Ford's general manager of battery electric vehicles, told Automotive News last week the company will soon begin sending out so-called "Charge Angels," employees who travel around the country (in Mach-Es, of course) whose sole job is to repair and test broken chargers. Assuming there are no delays, the plan will get underway by the end of this year.
"All they'll do all day long is go and check them to see where they fail and why," Palmer said. "It's a guardian angel who's looking after you when you don't even know you need it, and they're just in the background." It's important Ford gets this system into place soon because, very shortly, it'll have even more EVs on the road.
The F-150 Lightning buyers should have their orders by next summer so Ford is going to need as many working chargers as possible. Otherwise, well, there'll be a lot of angry drivers. That's a scenario Ford can't allow to happen.
Consumers need to be assured that owning an EV is an even better overall experience than driving a combustion-engined vehicle. Issues such as range anxiety still exist but the growing number of chargers throughout the country should put that to rest sooner or later. But those chargers have to work. Period. It's good to see Ford is being proactive on the matter. Delaying the program's rollout is clearly not in its short or long-term interest.