Our testing beat Ford's estimated time to charge to 80%

Last week we posted our Mustang Mach-E 70 mph range test video in which we were able to cover 282.5 miles before the state of charge hit zero, at which time the Mach-E was reporting that it could go another 3 miles. 

Since we already had the Mach-E with a depleted battery at an Electrify America DC fast charger, we used the opportunity to conduct another DC Fast charge test. Last month, Kyle Conner posted a Mach-E DC fast charge test on his Out Of Spec YouTube channel and InsideEVs Mark Kane used the data for a great DC fast charge analysis deep-dive article.

However, Ford has been updating the Mach-E software up to the vehicle's launch, so we wondered if the charging curve would be the same as when Kyle recorded his session nearly two months ago.   

Mach-E DC Fast charge comparison
The black line on the chart is Kyle's session, and the red line is the charging curve that I observed

We tested the same version of the Mach-E as Kyle did, a Launch Edition AWD with the Extended range battery pack. That pack has a total capacity of 99 kWh and a usable capacity of 88 kWh. When finished, we both were billed for 92 kWh, 4 more than the total usable capacity of the Mach-E.  The extra energy is due to charging losses and also the energy the BMS uses to cool the battery and components during charging.

Notable timestamps in the video:

  • 1:52​ Plug&Charge test
  • 3:07​ 0% to 80% charging recording
  • 4:00​ Added 150 miles of range in 30 minutes
  • 5:05​ What happens when the state of charge reaches 80%
  • 6:23​ Still charging after two hours
  • 8:00​ Wrap up - what was learned

Kyle needed 2 hours and 32 minutes to charge from 0% to 100% and our latest test shaved a whole 3 minutes off of that as we finished up in 2 hours and 29 minutes. However, that really sounds much worse than it actually is. 

The reason it took so long is that the Mach-E's charging curve falls off of a cliff at 80% state of charge. It drops off to accepting only 12 kW- 13 kW, which is only slightly more power than the 11 kW AC charging capability when charging from a level 2, 240-volt source. 

However, up to the 80% SOC point, the Mach-E's DC fast charging really isn't that bad. Ford promises a 10% to 80% DC fast charge time of 52 minutes. We achieved a 0% to 80% charge in under 48 minutes, and Kyle did it in 49 minutes. With the Mach-E's driving range, 80% will get you about 200 miles of driving in most conditions if you keep it under 75 mph, except in very cold conditions and challenging topography with extensive elevation change. 

Here's what the session looked like:

State Of Charge Minutes Charging Current kW Draw At SOC

5%

2 145 kW
10% 4 106 kW
20% 9 107 kW
30% 14 106 kW
40% 19 97 kW
50% 26 78 kW
60% 33 79 kW
70% 40 80 kW
80% 47 74 kW
90% 96 12 kW
100% 149 2 kW

The unusual thing about the Mach-E's DC fast charge curve is how short a period of time the vehicle will accept the maximum charge rate of 150 kW. It's time-based, not based solely on the state of charge which most EVs are, and the vehicle will only accept maximum power for two minutes. 

During my test, I reached a maximum charge rate of 145 kW shortly after plugging in, but after two minutes the charge rate began to taper down, even though the vehicle was only at 5% state of charge.

 

The 100-mile & 150-mile recharge test

One of the things I like to look at is how long does it take to add 100 miles and 150 miles of range to the vehicle when plugging in at 0% or close to 0% SOC. Quite often drivers won't need to fully recharge their EVs to get to their destination, and an extra 100-150 miles of range is all they will need.

To add 100 miles of range, if you use the EPA range rating of 270 miles as your benchmark, you need to replenish 37% of the battery, but if you use my highway range test, you only need to add 35% of the battery. In our test, the Mach-E reached 35% SOC in 17 minutes and 37% SOC in 18 minutes. That's only 2 minutes longer than it took for the Volkswagen ID.4 to accomplish the same goal in our DC fast charge test

To add 150 miles of range, if you use the EPA range rating of 270 miles as your benchmark, you need to replenish 55% of the battery, but if you use my highway range test, you only need to add 53% of the battery. In our test, the Mach-E reached 55% SOC in 30 minutes and 53% SOC in 28 minutes. The Volkswagen ID.4 accomplished it in 25 minutes (EPA-based) and 27 minutes according to our 70 mph range test. Therefore, the ID.4 is 5 minutes faster when using the EPA range as the measuring stick, but only 1 minute faster when using our observed highway range for the two vehicles. 

Mach-E DC fast charging
Mach-E Plug&Charge success

Plug&Charge Success

We used the Mustang Mach-E's Plug&Charge feature and it worked as it should on the first try. With Plug&Charge, all the owner needs to do is plug the EV into the charger, and the vehicle and charger communicate to authenticate the session and bill your pre-established account. In fact, every time I've personally used Plug&Charge with the Mach-E it worked on the first try. I mention that because we've seen others report problems with Plug&Charge and I didn't experience any.

The only problem I can see is that currently, you cannot link your Electrify America account to the account in your Ford Pass that is linked to Plug&Charge. Therefore, you cannot pay the discounted rate that Electrify America Pass+ members do, and that's a problem.

In New Jersey, Electrify America bills by the kWh, and as a Pass+ member, I pay $0.31 per kWh. Since the Ford Pass currently cannot be linked to an Electrify America Pass+ account, users pay the guest rate of $0.43 per kWh. The Mach-E took in 92 kWh during my DC fast charge test and the cost was significantly more than it should have been. Instead of paying $28.52 to fully charge the Mach-E, it cost $39.56. This is something that Ford needs to figure out, or it renders Plug&Charge useless as nobody will use it if it means the charging session will cost 40% more.

Unplug at 80%!

Ford recommends unplugging at 80% when using a DC Fast charger and we couldn't agree more. It took us 47 minutes to charge the Mach-E from 0% to 80% and another 102 minutes (1 hour & 42 minutes) to charge from 80% to 100%. That's an average charge rate of 1.7 miles/minute from 0% to 80% and then it took 5 minutes to add each additional mile of range from 80% to 100%. 

While there's room for improvement in the Mustang Mach-E's DC fast charging capabilities, particularly the length of time it can charge at the full 150 kW rate, overall it's really not bad. Adding 100 miles of range in 17-18 minutes and 150 miles in 30 minutes isn't class-leading, but it's fast enough for most potential Mach-E owners, considering the majority of owners won't even need to DC fast charge more than once or twice a month. 

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