As it invests heavily in EVs and works to expand its manufacturing prowess and battery technology in that space, Ford is also working to make it easier for owners to find places they can recharge those vehicles. Aside from continually expanding its BlueOval Charging Network and requiring Model e Certified dealers to install fast chargers at those locations, FoMoCo also recently signed a deal that will grant Blue Oval EV owners access to Tesla’s vast Supercharger network. Last April, the automaker launched Ford Charge Assist, which helps owners locate charging stations – albeit only in Europe for Ford Pro customers – but now, that same feature is set to receive some big updates accompanied by a potentially broader launch, according to a dealer bulletin recently seen by CarsDirect.
Ford Charge Assist started rolling out “in batches” this week via an over-the-air-update, and the new version looks a bit different than the old one. Originally, Ford Charge Assist – which displays the location, availability, and cost of nearby charging stations on a vehicle’s Sync 4 infotainment system – could only be used in tandem with the FordPass app. Now, users will be able to “find, start, and pay at a public charging station right from inside their vehicle without having to use FordPass or a third-party charging app,” according to the bulletin.
This figures to make Ford Charge Assist not only more convenient to use, but also simplifies the payment process, to boot. Ford EV owners will be able to use the feature to view the cost per kWh of nearby charging stations before setting it as their destination, as well as see how many chargers are currently available and how long it will take for their vehicle to charge to 80 percent if they do in fact use that specific charger.
Previously, it seemed as if this feature would only be available to Ford Pro commercial customers that purchase vehicles like the E-Transit, but now, it seems as if it may possibly wind up trickling down to the Ford F-150 Lightning (at least the commercial-focused Pro version) and perhaps the Ford Mustang Mach-E. For now, it’s unclear if FoMoCo will send this update to retail buyers, though we should know very soon, either way.