Ford is hoping to convince fence sitters to finally get an electric vehicle by making it easier to find charging stations. The automaker has introduced the FordPass Charging Network, which it says includes 12,000 charging stations with more than 35,000 plugs in North America. Customers who buy its upcoming EVs, presumably including its Mustang-inspired electric SUV, will get two years of free access to the network from the time they buy and activate their FordPass account for the vehicle.* They'll still have to pay to charge their EVs, though, which they can do through the FordPass app or their vehicle's screen, where they'll also be able to find the nearest charging stations.
Ford is working with Shell-owned EV charging technology provider Greenlots to bring multiple charging companies together for the project. While the company didn't list all the participating charging providers, Ford said Volkswagen-backed Electrify America will provide owners access to DC fast chargers, which can take a battery with 10 percent power to 80 percent within 45 minutes.
The company's director of global electrification Ted Cannis said:
"Among people who already own or want to purchase electric vehicles and plug-in hybrids, 48 percent say that a lack of charging stations is one of their main concerns. By offering industry-leading charging access we are dismantling those barriers, allowing more customers to confidently enjoy the benefits of owning an electric vehicle."
The automaker is hoping that the charging network could help quell potential owners' range anxiety in conjunction with its home charging options. All its electric vehicles will come with the Ford Mobile Charger that's capable of charging with a 120V or a 240V home outlet. Owners can also choose to get the Ford Connected Charge Station, which comes with connectivity features, for an additional fee.
Update: 10/17/19 6:25am: This update has been updated to clarify that owners will still have to pay to charge their vehicles.