We take a 2021 Ford Mustang Mach-E to an Electrify America DC fast charge station to see how well its Plug&Charge technology works. The Mustang Mach-E is the very first electric vehicle to launch with Plug&Charge technology, and we wanted to be the first to see the plug-in pony demonstrate the feature.
Plug&Charge employs the ISO 15118 international standard which specifies the secured communication protocol an EV and the charging stations should use. Plug&Charge will dramatically improve the public charging experience for electric vehicle owners.
Until now, networked public EV charging stations required the use of either an RFID card, an app, or a credit card in order to initiate the session. It's a major pain point for public charging because often the station fails to communicate properly and the session either takes a couple of attempts to initiate, or the driver leaves frustrated without charging.
Tesla vehicles never had this problem because the Supercharger network has always worked like Plug&Charge. You simply pull up, plug in and the Supercharger identifies your vehicle and bills your Tesla account. However, Tesla controls the cars and the charging stations, so it's much easier to implement an automatic authentication system - they control all the tech.
“The Plug&Charge technology will streamline Electrify America's charging experience," said Cliff Fietzek, director of technology at Electrify America.
Now, other EV owners will soon have the ability to just pull up and plug in. However, it's not going to happen overnight. The Mach-E is the first vehicle to launch with Plug&Charge technology. The Porsche Taycan is also supposed to be Plug&Charge capable soon and the Lucid Air will launch with Plug&Charge. However, it's unclear what the timeline will be for other electric vehicles to also have Plug&Charge.
We weren't 100% sure if it was going to work on our Mach-E. First because we've never actually seen Plug&Charge work, and secondly, we didn't know if Ford has this vehicle set up for automatic Plug&Charge billing with Electrify America, but it did.
While we were there, we also recorded the charging session in a timelapse video. The Mach-E pulled 150 kW as soon as we plugged in at 43% state of charge. However, it didn't last long and after only two minutes the charge rate was slightly under 100 kW.
The Mach-E's maximum charge rate is 150 kW, and Ford promises the extended range 98.8 kWh battery pack will charge from 10% to 80% in 45 minutes. In our charging session, it took 22 minutes to add 37% (35 kWh) and go from 43% SOC to 80%. That's pretty much in line with what Ford promises.
Check out the video and let us know what you think. Impressed or unimpressed by Plug&Charge? How about by the Mach-E's DC fast charging rate? As always, let us know in the comment section below.