Anyone who’s spent a significant amount of time living with a battery electric vehicle knows the pain of rocking up to your local plug-in station only to find it’s busted and you can’t charge. It doesn’t happen as often as it used to, but it’s still a huge bummer and a massive inconvenience when it does. Ford wants to make that pain a thing of the past by dispatching the Charge Angels — employees who drive around in instrumentedSUVs, testing and fixing broken chargers wherever they are.
The program is expected to launch later this year, Darren Palmer, Ford’s general manager of BEVs, told Automotive News earlier this week, but details — including how many “angels” will be deployed and where — are still being worked out. Charge Angels will find and fix individual chargers that customers, connected vehicles or social media report as problematic.
“All they’ll do all day long is go and check them to see where they fail and why,” Palmer said. “It’s a guardian angel who’s looking after you when you don’t even know you need it.”
When today’s customers pull up to a charging station in their Mach-E and find an individual plug is bad, it’s fairly simple to just move to another spot. But the, which should launch next year, will bring with it a whole new breed of EV customer with trailers and heavy loads in tow. It won’t be so easy for them to reposition two or three times to find a plug that works. Ford hopes its Charge Angels will whip its FordPass charging network — an amalgamation of partner stations on the Electrify America, Greenlots, ChargePoint and other networks — into tip-top shape, ensuring that as many plugs as possible work as expected on the first try.
So, if you have a problem EV charger in your area and no one else can help… maybe you can call on Ford’s Charge Angels sometime next year.