DETROIT — Ford Motor Co. doesn't yet have a long-range electric vehicle on the market, but it's working to woo on-the-fence consumers by rolling out plans for a robust charging infrastructure.
The automaker last week announced details about its charging strategy for the first time. It will offer free mobile charge cords so customers can plug their vehicles into either 240- or 120-volt outlets, optional installation of a faster-charging home station, and new features on its FordPass app that show buyers range information and charging locations.
While its first long-range EV, a Mustang-inspired crossover, won't go on sale until 2020, experts say Ford is making the right moves now.
"The lack of an infrastructure is holding people back from buying electric vehicles," Michelle Krebs, executive analyst for Autotrader, told Automotive News. "I think Ford really wants to get this off to a fast start. They have to have all the pieces in place."
In terms of public charging, Ford is relying on established networks.
The automaker says its customers will have access to more than 12,000 public charging stations through what it's calling the FordPass Charging Network. The network was created in partnership with Greenlots and is likely to grow, Ford said.
Among the chargers Ford customers will gain access to are those run by Electrify America, which expects to install or have under development approximately 3,500 chargers in 800 locations by the end of 2021.
Electrify America was formed in 2016 as a Volkswagen Group of America subsidiary to oversee a 10-year, $2 billion investment on zero-emissions vehicle technology and awareness. The spending is mandated as part of VW's legal settlement with government regulators after it admitted to cheating on diesel vehicles' emissions tests.