2021 Mustang Mach-E. (Image: Ford)
The all-new Mustang Mach-E electric crossover isn’t due to launch until later this year.
But Ford already is making updates to the vehicle and plans to continue to do so throughout the car’s life.
The Mach-E will be the first model to feature Ford’s enhanced over-the-air (OTA) capability that allows certain vehicle software to be updated remotely.
The improved system is faster and covers more features than what’s available with the current Synch infotainment system, according to the carmaker. Ford says virtually all of the Mach-E’s computer modules can be updated wirelessly.
Routine updates can be made in less than two minutes, using either a wi-fi or cellular connection. More complex upgrades can be scheduled for when the vehicle isn’t likely to be used, such as in the middle of the night.
Ford expects the first round of OTA enhancements will be initiated within six months of the first Mach-E customer deliveries. Owners will be notified when an update is available and when the installation is completed.
Other vehicles will include the new OTA system as they are redesigned, starting later this year.
In addition to improved installation, Ford says it has developed a better way to develop and test OTA updates.
The enhanced process was created out of necessity due to work-at-home mandates during the coronavirus outbreak. The new method allows engineers to program and test updates remotely instead of having a team physically work together. This can cut programming time from as much as five hours to less than 10 minutes, Ford says.
Ford also has improved the Mach-E’s recharging capabilities.
Using a 150-kW fast charger, the EV’s battery now can be replenished to about 20% capacity—good for 61 miles—in 10 minutes for rear-wheel-drive variants of the Mach-E equipped with a 98.7-kWh battery. That’s a 30% improvement (14 miles) over previous estimates, Ford says.
Similar gains have been made for other versions of the Mach-E, including adding:
- 52 miles of range in 10 minutes for the all-wheel-drive models with the 98.7-kWh battery
- 46 miles for rwd models with the standard 75.7-kWh battery
- 42 miles for the awd Mach-E with a 75.7-kWh battery
An 80% charge can be achieved in 45 minutes with the fast-charging system for vehicles with the larger battery and in 38 minutes for the downsized unit.
The carmaker’s FordPass charging network gives Mach-E customers access to 13,500 charging stations across the U.S.
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