If there’s one thing that inspires the most angst among electric car drivers on a trip, after driving a whole bunch of miles over various rivers and through various woods, it is the range left in the batteries.
Ford Goes Proactive With Intelligent Range Tools
Ford has gone proactive with its Mustang Mach-Es and range anxiety. Ford sees a way to give its electric vehicle owners more range confidence. Using technology, Ford has found ways to give its electric customers more confidence. And while Ford is giving its Mustang Mach-E drivers relief from range anxiety, my colleague Jimmy Dinsmore looks at Ford the Ford Mustang Mach-E program and discusses how it is taking aim at Tesla.
The manufacturer has developed a new tool that accurately predicts how much range is left. The tool is called the Intelligent Range tool. The tool is becoming more precise all the time. The Intelligent Range tool, whose results appear in your instrument cluster, combats range anxiety.
Meantime, questions have been raised about the overall safety of hands-free driving. It is an issue
Indeed, range anxiety seems to have been a part of the electric vehicle ownership experience since Bakers were still rolling along the dusty roads of the East Coast over a century ago. The Baker was the last commercially successful electric vehicle of the early 20th century.
The last ones rolled off the assembly line around 1915. The principal problem with Baker Electrics was the limited range of its lead-acid battery cores used.
Ford Intelligent Range Tool Goes Proactive
Fortunately, times have changed as have battery cores today so that even though range anxiety is there, it is far less the problem it used to be. To be sure, electric vehicle owners still have range anxiety; however, manufacturers are doing something about it.
Take the Ford Mustang Mach-E, the manufacturer’s all-electric vehicle. Ford has implemented an innovative dash-mounted tool that can accurately estimate how much range the all-electric SUV has left. The tool both helps eases range anxiety as the operator has an idea about when a recharge is needed, and the driver can also plan where.
“Electric vehicle customers need to be able to trust their range estimates,” according to Darren Palmer, Ford global director, battery electric vehicles. “People want to be confident they are going to make it where they need to go, whether they’re on a road trip or coming home from work. Our new Intelligent Range feature helps ensure Mustang Mach-E owners around the globe know where they stand ahead of time, freeing up to enjoy the ride.”
“Electric vehicle customers need to be able to trust their range estimates,” said Darren Palmer, Ford global director, battery electric vehicles. “People want to be confident they’re going to make it where they need to go, whether they’re on a road trip or coming home from work. Our new Intelligent Range feature helps ensure Mustang Mach-E owners around the globe know where they stand ahead.”
Ford Intelligent Range Tool Can Connect To Others
Interestingly, the tool can connect to other Ford vehicles on the road so drivers can share data. By linking with other connected Ford’s Mustang Mach-E or electric vehicles, owners can obtain crowd-sourced data that can improve estimates considerably.
The all-electric SUV can track how much energy usage over a range of circumstances. For example, the SUV can track varying speed, terrain, and climate conditions so it can use fleet averages across all Mustang Mach-Es to improve range estimates – even for routes and conditions in areas a customer may never have driven through before.
If a Mustang Mach-E’s range is impacted notably by any number of these factors at the start of a trip, customers will receive a notification in their instrument cluster.
If a Mustang Mach-E does run out of juice, the Ford Roadside Assistance program will tow customers free of charge to where they want within 35 miles – whether it is to their homes or their nearest public charger or an EV-certified Ford dealership.
In holding with Ford’s new policy, the manufacturer will upgrade the Intelligent Range tool using over-the-air updates. The updates will deliver even more accurate predictive capabilities for connected Mustang Mach-Es, keeping these fully electric SUVs on the leading edge of technology.
Ford Intelligent Range Tool To Have Cloud Connectivity
Future updates will allow Mustang Mach-Es to take advantage of cloud-connected capabilities, enabling it to factor in real-time traffic conditions, road slope and the elevation of a given route, and even the temperature at the final destination.
“Changes in driver behavior and the environment can impact range, which is the reason other electric vehicles often experience significant range adjustments,” said Mark Poll, Ford’s EV charging user experience manager. “Ford is tapping the power of the cloud to make estimates even more accurate – reducing the need for surprise charging stops and helping reduce customers’ range anxiety.”
Marc Stern has been an auto writer since 1971. It was a position that filled two boyhood dreams: One was that I would write, and two that I write about cars. When I took over as my newspaper's auto editor, I began a 32-year career as an automotive columnist. There isn't much on four wheels that I haven't driven or reviewed. My work has appeared in Popular Mechanics, Mechanix Illustrated, AutoWeek, SuperStock, Trailer Life, Old Cars Weekly, Special Interest Autos, and others. Today, I am the Ford F150 reporter for Torque News. I write how-to and help columns for online sites such as Fixya.com and others. You can follow me on Twitter or Facebook. Most of Marc's stories can be found at Torque News Ford coverage. Check back again and search for Torque News Ford F-150 news for more F-150 truck news coverage.