With a new year ahead of the industry, electric vehicle (EV) charging continues to grow—as does the number of electric cars on the roads. Particularly in North America where one million EVs were sold last year.
But we noticed last year that car makers are investing in more than just the latest cars as they recognised the demand for an entirely new infrastructure to support a zero-emission network of vehicles. Automotive brands are focused on bringing charging to their customers and simplifying the process that has long been a pain point for potential new EV owners.
A solution to this can be found in the offering from Ford. Its BlueOval™ Charge Network is fast-becoming a must-have for drivers in North America as it enables access to a number of charging networks, including those of providers like Shell Recharge, Electrify America, EVgo, ChargePoint(the states’ leader in EV charging), FLO, EV Connect, and Electric Circuit.
In October 2023, Ford shared its latest achievements with the BlueOval™ network, namely its inclusion of new charging providers Francis Energy, Blink, and Red E, which serve the US and Canada. Charging stations operated by these companies are incorporated into the FordPass, which is a means of simplifying payments for those providers.
As of October, the FordPass allows access to more than 106,000 charging stations across the country with more than 11,800 DC fast chargers. Further expansion of its fast-charger network is expected in early 2024, which will also be seen at Ford dealerships. Not to mention—following the news last year that Tesla opened up its chargers to vehicles of different manufacturers—15,000+ Tesla stations will be available to FordPass users from Spring this year.
Why is it so important for EV manufacturers to simplify charging?
Some of the most inclusive networks are a result of the growing demand for facilities, but also the concerns that consumers expressed last year of range anxiety. It seems that the negative press of the past 12 months has only fuelled companies to deliver new methods of easing the EV transition and ensuring that drivers have adequate access to products despite the brand of vehicle they lease or purchase.
In Ford’s most recent update on the product, Bill Crider, Ford’s Senior Director of Global Charging and Energy Services, says: “Continuous growth of the BlueOval Charge Network, including a critical focus on reliable fast charging, remains a top priority to provide the best possible electric driving experience for our customers. With the addition of the Tesla Supercharger Network along with new fast chargers coming to Ford Model e dealerships in 2024, we are working hard to make range anxiety a thing of the past for Ford all-electric drivers.
Ford’s tips for optimising the charging experience:
- Precondition the vehicle during the charging process to improve battery performance in extreme temperatures.
- Use the FordPass™ App or car screen to schedule interior heating or cooling while charging, saving battery for driving and warming the battery if it's below 40°F (4°C).
- Turn off cabin heating during charging if possible and use heated seats and steering wheel to save energy (not available on E-Transit).
- Clear ice and snow from your vehicle before driving, maintain moderate speeds, and ensure tires are correctly inflated.
- Use the FordPass App to filter and find the right type of charging station, whether it's a Level 2 AC or Level 3 DC fast charger.
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