Ford's Mach-E Will Include ‘Intelligent Range' Technology to More Accurately Calculate Range

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【Summary】Ford Motor Co. announced a new feature for the upcoming Mach-E called “Intelligent Range”, which can more accurately predict how many miles the electric SUV can travel before the battery needs to be charged.

FutureCar Staff    Jul 26, 2020 10:30 AM PT
Ford's Mach-E Will Include ‘Intelligent Range' Technology to More Accurately Calculate Range
The 2021 Ford Mach-E is the automaker's first fully-electric vehicle

The Ford Motor Company's first fully electric vehicle the Mach-E will come packed with innovative features, such as connected vehicle technology, a computer controlled electric powertrain and Ford's Co-Pilot360 advanced driver assist package.

Among the more unique features is a new system Ford announced today called "Intelligent Range", which can more accurately predict how many miles the Mach-E can travel before the battery needs to be charged. 

The Intelligent Range system is designed to reduce "range anxiety", which is a concern for drivers of electric vehicles—making it to their destination without running out of juice. 

The system can also better calculate the range remaining so drivers avoid unnecessary charging stops.

The Mach-E's battery system reports how much energy is available, while the powertrain control module calculates how much energy is actually being used. The Intelligent Range predictions are designed to get better over time. The system can also calculate the range remaining based on a driver's previous driving habits, weather forecasts and crowdsourced data collected from other Mach-E SUVs. 

The system will also support OTA updates.

Ford plans to improve its Intelligent Range system in the future, including factoring in real-time traffic conditions and elevation of a given route, since changes in ambient temperature or traveling up steep hills can reduce range. The system will be able to take all of these factors into consideration to calculate a more accurate range estimate.

"Electric vehicle customers need to be able to trust their range estimates," said Darren Palmer, Ford global director, battery electric vehicles. "People want to be confident they're going to make it where they need to go, whether they're on a road trip or coming home from work. Our new Intelligent Range feature helps ensure Mustang Mach-E owners around the globe know where they stand ahead of time, freeing them up to enjoy the ride."

Crowdsourced data from other connected Ford electric vehicles can improve estimates considerably, Ford says. 

The Mach-E can track how much energy is used in different circumstances, including varying speed, terrain and climate conditions, so it can use fleet averages across all Mustang Mach-Es to improve range estimates for fellow drivers, even for routes that a driver has never traveled before.

Mach-E owners will have full control over the data sharing option, and can opt out if they do not want to share their vehicle data.

If range is impacted by any number of factors at the start of a trip, customers will receive an alert via the instrument cluster notifying them of the new range estimate and details about why it has changed.

"Changes in driver behavior and the environment can impact range, which is the reason other electric vehicles often experience significant range adjustments," said Mark Poll, Ford's EV charging user experience manager. "Ford is tapping the power of the cloud to make estimates even more accurate – reducing the need for surprise charging stops and helping reduce customers' range anxiety."

While Intelligent Range is an innovative new feature, there are times when a driver may find themselves with a discharged battery. However, Mach-E drivers will never really be stranded.

Ford's Roadside Assistance program will offer towing free of charge up to 35 miles if a Mach-E driver needs help. This includes a tow back to their home, an EV charging site, or a nearby Ford dealer. If a driver is more than 35 miles away from their home or dealer, they will be taken to the closest location.

EPA estimated range for the rear-wheel-drive Mach-E with the Standard Range battery is 230 miles. For the Extended Range Mach-E with RWD, Ford is targeting an EPA estimated range of 300 miles.

Deliveries of the Mach-E Premium version are expected to begin later this year, while the other version will be available in early 2021. Prices start at $43,895 and U.S. customers are eligible for the $7,500 federal EV tax credit.

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