When Ford's general manager of battery electric vehicles Darren Palmer says "There are a lot of plugs out there ..." he doesn't likely mean there are enough to satisfy the demand that's coming with an increase in EV adoption. This is especially true as non-Tesla EV like the Ford Mustang Mach-E begin to hit our roadways in greater numbers.
While it seems the goal of most, if not all, EV makers is to work toward expansion of public charging stations, fixing those that are already available is a wise idea. According to Automotive News, Palmer continued during a recent interview:
" ... but some of them are old and they don't have the quality or reliability we want. Over 99.5 percent of customers go into a charger and get a charge. We're pleased about that. But a number less than that get a charge the first time they charge."
We've heard many horror stories about the lack of reliability of various public charging networks across the US, and we're certain Ford has heard them, too. In fact, we've seen people complain to Ford and its execs on social media that they've had trouble with charging stations, and some situations have caused road trips to become ridiculously long.
This is not to say that there aren't "plenty" of new and reliable chargers out there, but there aren't nearly enough. The fact that many aren't working properly, and people have to try multiple times in order to get a successful charge, is a major issue.
To help with the growing problem, Ford is employing "Charge Angels" to help. Palmer came up with the name for a group of employees that will be driving "specially instrumented" Mustang Mach-E all-electric crossovers around the country to test individual public charging stations.
Ford says it can use connected vehicle data, along with the "angry social media posts," to better understand where public charging problems exist. Palmer added:
"All they'll do all day long is go and check them to see where they fail and why."
The Ford executive admitted that he's still coming up with new ideas for the Charge Angel program. He wants to make it more fun. Palmer concluded:
"Maybe if you spot an angel you get a gift. I'm thinking about that."