I charged 2024 Ford Mustang Mach-E at a Tesla supercharger: How it went

SEATTLE — The 2024 Ford Mustang Mach-E gets more power, a longer range and quicker charging, but the performance upgrade owners are likely to enjoy most will arrive by mail, in a cardboard box not much bigger than your smartphone came in.

“Our gift to you,” the card inside reads: “Thousands more fast chargers.”

It’s the long-awaited adapter allowing Ford electric vehicles access to Tesla’s network of DC fast chargers, the largest and most user-friendly way to top up the battery quickly on long drives.

Ford is the first automaker to gain access to esla's DC fast charging network.
Ford is the first automaker to gain access to esla's DC fast charging network.

It’s everything owners have been hoping for, based on my experience as one of the first people outside Ford Motor Co. to use the adapter.

Equally important, it addresses one of the main reasons many people have resisted buying an EV: concern over the availability and dependability of fast-charging for vacations and weekend getaways.

DC fast charging speed, availability and reliability are major factors for drivers considering an EV.
DC fast charging speed, availability and reliability are major factors for drivers considering an EV.

2024 Ford Mustang Mach-E trim levels and prices

  • Select: $38,100

  • Premium: $42,100

  • GT: $52,100

  • Rally: $58,100

Source: Ford. Prices exclude $1,895 destination charge.

The 2024 Ford Mustang Mach-E electric SUV improved power, range and charging time.
The 2024 Ford Mustang Mach-E electric SUV improved power, range and charging time.

More power, longer range, faster charging

In addition to the adapter — more on that shortly — the 2024 Mustang Mach-E got a raft of changes thanks to a variety of software and software upgrades.

Buyers wanted better acceleration and faster charging, Mach-E chief engineer Donna Dickson said. Ford achieved that — and reduced costs — in part by adopting the rear motor it uses in the F-150 Lightning electric pickup. It also changed electronic components in the front motor — all-wheel drive electric vehicles have at least two separate motors, one on each axle; some have three or four.

Ford is the first automaker to gain access to Tesla's DC fast charging network.
Ford is the first automaker to gain access to Tesla's DC fast charging network.

The mechanical changes are the reason the power and range improvements aren’t available via over the air software changes to owners of previous model years. Software changes include pre-conditioning the battery for optimum charging on a road trip.

The least expensive ’24 model — standard battery/ rear-wheel drive — gains 20 miles range, to 230 miles. The longest-rage model — premium trim, extended range, RWD — also gains 20 miles, to 320 miles.

The Mach-E GT — standard extended range battery, AWD — gained 10 miles, to 280 miles on a charge.

The long-range battery’s charging time also decreased about 20%, or 8.8 minutes, to 36.2 minutes to charge from 10% to 80%.

The standard range battery’s 10%-80% time fell 5.7 minutes, to 32.3 minutes

Those are meaningful improvements. I look forward to testing them on a long-range drive in a 2024 Mach-E soon.

Ford is sending adapters for Tesla's DC fast charging network to its EV owners.
Ford is sending adapters for Tesla's DC fast charging network to its EV owners.

Tesla charging, at last

The first automaker to gain access to Tesla’s renowned DC fast charging network, Ford isn’t shy about rubbing its superiority in other automakers’ faces. The adapters are in short supply now. Ford will mail them to owners, but it’s not saying how many have received them yet, or when everybody should have one.

As frustrating as the waiting will be, the payoff is worth it, based on my experience charging a Mach-E Premium in an IKEA parking lot in suburban Seattle.

Tesla’s DC chargers, which the EV specialist calls superchargers, account for more than half of all public DC fast chargers in the United States. They’re not just more common than DCFCs from independent charging companies like EVgo and Electrify America, though. They’re widely recognized as more reliable and easier to use.

My brief experience supported that. I pulled the Mach-E up to one of Tesla’s elegant red-and-white charging kiosks, waved to the puzzled looking occupant of a Tesla Model 3 compact sedan, clicked the adapter onto the charging cable and connected to the Ford on my first try. A light on the Mach-E told me charging had begun within a few seconds.

2024 Ford Mustang Mach-E electric vehicle charging at a Seattle-area Tesla DC charger.
2024 Ford Mustang Mach-E electric vehicle charging at a Seattle-area Tesla DC charger.

EV charging the way it should be

If that sounds like business as usual, you’re a gasoline, not electric driver. EV owners cross their fingers every time they approach a DC fast charger.

Using the independent charging companies is an act of faith more than a commercial transaction: Will it start charging? Recognize my account for billing? Will any of that happen on the first try? Will it stop charging without notifying me when I walk away for coffee?

We’ll need behind-the-wheel and on-the-road time to see how Tesla’s network holds up as more and more vehicles use it, but the upside is huge.

There is one significant, and disappointing, asterisk to access to Tesla’s chargers: The EV specialist isn’t making all 15,000 of its chargers available to third-party automakers. Charging apps, including Ford’s embedded route-planning system, will direct drivers to the chargers they can use.

2024 Ford Mustang Mach-E electric vehicle charging at a Seattle-area Tesla DC charger.
2024 Ford Mustang Mach-E electric vehicle charging at a Seattle-area Tesla DC charger.

2024 Ford Mustang Mach-E key changes

  • Faster charging

  • Longer range

  • 480 horsepower for GT

  • New rear motor

  • New headlights match Mustang coupe and convertible

  • Sync 4 infotainment system

  • Blue Cruise 1.3 hands-free driving system

  • Cloud-based route-planning that considers geography, traffic, weather and driving behavior

  • Apple Map route-planning compatibility

  • Plug & Charge billing compatible

2024 Ford Mustang Mach-E interior
2024 Ford Mustang Mach-E interior

Driving impressions

I drove a RWD Mach-E Premium with 365 horsepower and 500 pound-feet of torque on a rainy day. It had all the acceleration most owners will ever want, leaping forward when traffic cleared and entering the highway. The motor delivered power smoothly for traction and control in heavy urban and suburban traffic.

The one-pedal driving setting increased electric regeneration for added range. It was also easy to modulate, feeling intuitive in a matter of minutes as I negotiated everything from stop-and-go city traffic to a congested highway that led to fast, sweeping curves.

The Mach-E GT’s two motors generate 480 hp and 700 pound-feet of torque. It shares that drivetrain, including standard all-wheel drive, with the new Rally model I’ll review May 30.

The Mach-E has the latest version of Ford’s Blue Cruise hands-free driving system. It performed admirably for me in heavy rush hour traffic and occasional construction zones outside Seattle.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is investigating a pair of accidents where Mach-Es using Blue Cruise struck disabled vehicles in the road, however. Three people died in the two crashes.

Map of DC fast charging stations available to Ford EV owners.
Map of DC fast charging stations available to Ford EV owners.

Why get one?

The 2024 Ford Mustang Mach-E delivers an outstanding set of improvements to a vehicle that was already more than competitive for price, performance and comfort. Throw in easy access to Tesla’s charging system before other automakers can offer it, and the ’24 Mach-E deserves a long look by anybody considering a midsize SUV, electric or not.

2024 Ford Mustang Mach-E at a glance

Midsize sporty five-passenger  SUV

Rear- or all-wheel drive

Primary model tested: 2024 Mach-E Premium, RWD, standard-range battery

Price as tested: $49,595

Engine: Electric motor on rear axle

Output: 290 hp, 387 pound-feet of torque

Transmission: Single-speed direct drive

0-60 mph: 5.2 seconds

EPA range estimate: 250 miles

Charging time: 32.3 minutes 10%-80% DC fast charging

Wheelbase: 117.5 inches

Length: 185.6  inches

Width: 74.1 inches

Height: 63.9 inches

Ground clearance: 5.8 inches

Turning radius: 38.1 feet

Curb weight: 4,559 pounds

Assembled in Cuautitlán, Mexico

Contact Mark Phelan: 313-222-6731 or mmphelan@freepress.com. Follow him on Twitter @mark_phelan. Read more on autos and sign up for our autos newsletterBecome a subscriber.

This article originally appeared on Detroit Free Press: 2024 Ford Mustang Mach-E EV adds Tesla charging, power and range