SAN FRANCISCO — Ford Motor Co. knows its customers' electric vehicle charging experience is less than perfect, and it's deploying an army of "angels" to fix it.
The automaker offers customers some 63,000 plugs across the country in what it calls a "network of networks," made up of stations from Electrify America, ChargePoint and others. That patchwork collection of third-party chargers has occasionally been problematic for Mustang Mach-E owners looking to power up on the road.
"There are a lot of plugs out there, but some of them are old and they don't have the quality or reliability we want," Darren Palmer, Ford's general manager of battery electric vehicles, told Automotive News during a media drive program in San Francisco. "Over 99.5 percent of customers go into a charger and get a charge. We're pleased about that. But a number less than that get a charge the first time they charge."
Enter the Charge Angels.
Employees in specially instrumented Mach-Es will drive around and test out individual chargers in areas where connected vehicle data — or angry social media posts — say customers are having problems.
"All they'll do all day long is go and check them to see where they fail and why," Palmer said.
Details of the program are still being worked out, but officials say it's expected to launch before the end of the year with an undetermined number of Ford employees.