Ford is recognizing with its upcoming Mustang Mach-E electric SUV that EV range meters have to be much more than the electric equivalent of a gas gauge, or a conventional "miles remaining" readout.
So the automaker is highlighting that it’s put a lot of thought—and data points—into its Intelligent Range system in the Mach-E, which Ford has said will offer an EPA range rating of more than 300 miles in at least one of its rear-wheel-drive versions (AWD will also be available).
2021 Ford Mustang Mach-E range warning
Ford says that the range meter in the Mach-E includes weather forecasts, previous driving behavior, and even crowdsourced data from other Mach-E drivers who have opted in, all to help get a better estimate of when they’ll need a charging stop.
According to Ford, a future over-the-air update will bring in data for real-time traffic conditions, terrain, elevation, and more.
The company has also added an up-front alert that sounds very useful. If the range is impacted by some new factor at the start of a trip, a notification will highlight the revised estimate and why it changed.
2021 Ford Mustang Mach-E at Electrify America fast charger
On an electric-vehicle road trip, new EV drivers can face anxiety over the possibility of not having enough charge—or remaining range—to reach their destination. That range anxiety often disappears just a few months into ownership, after owners simply get to know their vehicle—and more importantly, the behavior of its trip computer and range meter.
Most electric cars provide excellent estimates about how much range remains—erring on the conservative side a little bit because, well, you plan for the unknown. While there are definitely exceptions to that rule, considering the data stream Ford is considering here it sounds like the Mach-E will be no exception.
Ford also made clear that if you run out of charge, it’s covered by roadside assistance—to the nearest public charger or to an EV-certified Ford dealership within 35 miles.