Ford is reading from the playbook of other electric vehicle manufacturers with the introduction of the 2021 Mustang Mach-E, offering free charging for the new owners of its first mainstream EV, although it may not be as good a deal that other EV owners have gotten in the past.
The Mach-E is supposed to start hitting showrooms later this year, and new owners will get 250 kilowatt hours of free charging through FordPass Rewards at Electrify America fast-charging stations. Electrify America has 13,500-plus charging stations across the country so that shouldn’t be an issue.
The free charging should get owners with the extended-range battery three full “fill ups,” as Ford officials describe it, or five for regular versions of the new EV. This is in addition to the two years of complimentary access Mustang Mach-E customers automatically receive to the recently expanded FordPass Charging Network for easy pay-as-you-go charging.
In order to be eligible for complimentary charging offer, Ford says the vehicle’s “modem must be activated within 60 days of purchase through the FordPass app on a smartphone.” They also note that buyers have two years from the date of the modem’s activation to use the free charging.
The modem not only accepts the over-the-air updates for the new EV that Ford has been touting, it also acts as a 4G LTE Wi-Fi hotspot with connectivity for up to 10 devices. It also works with the new Sync4 system in the vehicle. For those concerned about the safety of their personal information, Ford officials offers privacy options.
“We protect our customer’s privacy by informing them of the data we collect and how we use it, giving them choices as to what they share, and honoring those choices,” the company said in a statement to TheDetroitBureau.com. “Our customers have control over data shared with Ford, including the choice to opt-out of sharing Connected Vehicle Information (including vehicle location) by easy to use in-vehicle settings.”
Tesla used to offer free charging with its new vehicles on the company’s supercharger network. After determining that wasn’t “viable in the long-term,” CEO Elon Musk reduced the privilege to 400 kWh free, then owners are required to pay.
In order to spur sales of its Model S and Model X vehicles, the company did revive the free lifetime charging benefit last fall for a short period of time, but it has since ended the promotion. Likewise, Nissan has offered a variety of free charging offers for its Leaf all-electric vehicle throughout the years.
It currently offers 250 free hours of charging at EVgo Level 2 chargers with the new Leaf; however, last year it was offering two years of free charging hoping to prop up sales of the Leaf. That ended last June. Audi offers 1,000 kWh of free charging with its new E-Tron battery electric vehicle through Electrify America.
In fact, the current offer isn’t even Ford’s only offer of free charging. A few years back, when it rolled out is C-Max Energy plug-in hybrid it offered free juice in a partnership with EVgo. As part of its “EV 1-2-3 Charge” plan, C-Mas owners got unlimited access to charging stations in four-hour blocks. This was a pretty good deal since you could charge the hybrid at the 240-volt station in just 2.5 hours.
In addition to some free charging time for the new Mach-E, Ford is also offering Connected Charge Station home wallbox starting at $799 MSRP, excluding taxes. The wall charger can be ordered on FordParts.com and have it delivered ahead of their vehicle or at the time the vehicle is delivered.
Additionally, buyers can contract with Amazon Home Services to install the home charging setups later this year. Whether Ford customers need a 240-volt outlet installed for use with the Ford Mobile Charger that comes with their Mustang Mach-E or choose the Ford Connected Charge Station option, they will be able to see upfront pricing estimates and book and schedule a licensed and vetted electrician online, Ford said.