Electric Vehicles

New FordPass Charging Network has 12,000 stations and 35,000 plugs

Customers can use the FordPass app to locate a charging station near them or their destination.

Photo courtesy of Ford Motor Company

Ford Motor Company is building out its electric charging network ahead of the debut of its Mustang-inspired all-electric crossover. As part of the plan, Ford is offering customers access to 12,000 stations and 35,000 plugs, the most available access of any automaker.

This announcement comes on the heels of new that Ford will make FordPass remote features complementary.

FordPass users will be able to utilize the FordPass app to find an available Ford Connected Charge Station. The stations include those with DC fast charging capability. The 48-amp Ford Connected Charge Station can fully power a vehicle overnight while the owners sleeps, adding around 32 miles of range per charging hour to the battery.

Ford Charging home plug outlet mounted Ford is partnering with Amazon to install home charging networks for customers.Photo courtesy of Ford Motor Company

"Among people who already own or want to purchase electric vehicles and plug-in hybrids, 48 percent say that a lack of charging stations is one of their main concerns," said Ted Cannis, Ford director of global electrification. "By offering industry-leading charging access we are dismantling those barriers, allowing more customers to confidently enjoy the benefits of owning an electric vehicle."

Ford is working with Greenlots, a Shell Group company, to bring together multiple charging providers to develop the network. Drivers will be able to identify charging stations and pay for charging through their vehicle's infotainment screen.

Every new Ford EV will come with a Ford Mobile Charger that can be used on Level 2 (240-volt) outlets and add 22 miles per charging hour to the vehicle. Using as standard Level 1 (120-volt) plug, buyers add an average of three miles per charging hour.

Ford has partnered with Amazon Home Services to offer home installation. When customers choose the Ford Connected Charge Station option, they will be able to see upfront pricing estimates and schedule a licensed and vetted electrician online.

Ford is giving EV buying customers two years of complimentary FordPass Charging Network access.

The FordPass app also allows customers to set charging schedules and alerts at home, and pre-condition their vehicle before they drive. FordPass Power My Trip helps drivers plan their route based on charge needs and charging points.

The FordPass app is currently available in the Google Play and Apple stores.

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Nuts & Bolts

 
 

The Audi Q4 Sportback E-Tron Concept will go into production as soon.

Photo courtesy of Audi AG

Traditional or Sportback SUV? Turbocharged, hybrid, or electric? These are the dilemmas facing modern Audi buyers. Now, the company is poised to add one more variable to the mix - the Audi Q4 E-Tron.

A concept version of the Sportback was just unveiled showcasing typical Audi and E-Tron styling, but in a package slightly different than the Q3 and Q5 SUVs buyers have become accustomed to.

The new Sportback is similar to the Q4 E-Tron Concept that debuted at the 2019 Geneva Motor Show. Both the traditional SUV and Sportback versions are set to enter production, making it seven all-electric vehicles in the Audi lineup.

Audi Q4 Sportback E-Tron Concept

Photo courtesy of Audi AG

The Q4 variants will be the first Audi models built on Volkswagen's modular electrification platform (MEB). It's this platform that will serve as the architecture for future Volkswagen Group EVs that are compact sized and larger.

Despite the fact that the Sportback looks longer thanks to its D-pillar design and horizontal splitter t the lower window edge, the two models share nearly identical measurements. They share the same 1.9-meter width and 2.77-meter wheelbase. The Q4 Sportback is slightly longer and wider with just one centimeter separating the models.

They're also technological twins. They each have two electric motors that deliver 225-kilowatts of power. All-wheel drive is standard. The models can go from zero to 62 mph in just 6.3 seconds and are restricted to a top speed of 111 mph.

Audi says that the model can go up to 310 miles of range (WLTP) when equipped with rear-wheel drive. All-wheel drive models have a 279-mile range (WLTP).

The interior of the models focuses on sustainable solutions to traditional appointments. The floor covering is made of recycled materials and instead of chrome-plated metal decor frames, the surfaces are covered with a high-quality multi-layer paint finish. Still, it's meant to be luxurious with four seats with integrated head restraints that are upholstered with Alcantara material manufactured and double seams stitched with thick yarn.

A list of features in the two concept vehicles includes a head-up display, 12,3-inch infotainment touch screen, and mobile phone charging cradle.

Audi is expecting the Q4 E-Tron and Q4 Sportback E-Tron to go into production next year.

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The Toyota RAV4 Prime doesn't best its chief rival in every category.

Photo courtesy of Toyota Motor Sales U.S.A. Inc.

The Environmental Protection Agency has certified the results of all-electric range testing for the 2020 Toyota RAV4 Prime, the company's new plug-in hybrid variant of the best-selling SUV in the U.S.

The RAV4 Prime delivers 42 miles of all-electric range and 600 miles of overall range. This is good for 94 MPGe ad 38 mpg (when running as a traditional hybrid).

MPGe, or miles per gallon of gasoline equivalent, is an Environmental Protection Agency metric to compare the amount of energy consumed by alternative fuel vehicles to what traditional gas-powered vehicles consume.

2020 Ford Escape Plug-In Hybrid The 2020 Ford Escape Plug-In Hybrid gets 100 MPGe and 37 miles of all-electric range for under $35,000 Photo courtesy of Ford Motor Compay

The chief rival to the 2020 RAV4 Prime is the new 2020 Ford Escape Plug-In Hybrid (PHEV). It delivers best-in-class EPA-estimated all-electric fuel economy rating of 100 MPGe. However, it's all-electric range is just 37 miles. When running on strictly gasoline, the SUV gets 41 mpg.

The front-wheel drive Escape is powered by a new 2.5-liter hybrid engine and electronic continuously variable transmission (CVT). Its liquid-cooled, 14.4-kilowatt-hour lithium-ion battery is positioned below the second-row seats. The Escape is significantly less powerful than the RAV4, getting just 221 horsepower.

Toyota has given the all-wheel drive RAV4 Prime a 2.5-liter four-cylinder Atkinson-cycle gas engine and paired it with an 18.1-kilowatt-hour lithium-ion battery. The SUV has a total system output of 302 horsepower. Like the Escape, the Toyota's engine is paired with a CVT. The Toyota has two pound-feet of torque less than the Ford (168 vs. 170).

Buyers can get the PHEV powertrain on every Escape trim level except S and SE Sport. The Ford Escape Plug-In Hybrid has a starting MSRP under $35,000. That MSRP is lower than the RAV4 Prime, but the Toyota model's over $38,000 starting price is reflective of the fact that it features mid-grade and higher features and equipment right off the bat.

RAV4 Prime Escape PHEV fuel economy side by side Photo courtesy of the Environmental Protection Agency

The RAV4 Prime has a starting MSRP of $38,100. Toyota offers the model in just two grades: SE and XSE.

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