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Tuesday, January 31, 2023

Ford planning Mach-E updates to extend range in 2022, 2023, and 2024

New Ford Mustang Mach-E lead engineer Donna Dickson stopped by the vlogging studio of former Ford engineer Sandy Munro for an episode of Munro Live where she shared a few tantalizing tidbits about what’s in store for the electric crossover

The big news is that there will be range updates in each of the next three model years. At the moment, the Mach-E line-up starts at a minimum of 211 miles of range on the base trim with AWD and the standard range battery, and goes up to a maximum of 305 miles on the California Route 1 with RWD and the extended range battery.

“Its year-over-year improvement,” Dickson told Munro. “So, we’ll go and get additional range-improvement actions coming in for ’22, we have more coming in for ’23, and more coming in for ’24.”

She was coy about exactly how much range engineers wanted to add each year, and how they’d do it, but it will go beyond software and battery chemistry changes. Dickson said, “We know we have to get some weight out to better those numbers.”

Some of the weight savings will come from removing some components and replacing others. For example, when Munro himself tore down the Mach-E’s rear motor, he discovered a mechanical pawl for the parking brake. When he dismantled the frunk, he found a bundle of hoses that could have been attached to a rat king. And there are four pumps at the front of the vehicle, two of them for cooling the motors. Dickson said all those bits were installed as known quantities that could stand up to the automotive use cycle, and were what engineers believed was needed. As real-world data has come back to the team, she said they already plan to get rid of one pump, rework the “overdesigned” hose situation, and replace the pawl with an electronic parking brake.

The range discussion begins at about 26 minutes. However, with a total time of nearly 39 minutes, Munro and Dickson talked a lot more than range. The improvements Ford has planned start right at the front of the Mach-E, with Dickson explaining how EPA regulations influenced the frunk’s design and prevented an automatic hood release. She then said that an OTA update would add an automatic release to every Mach-E that’s already been delivered. Anyone interested in the Mach-E should give the whole thing a watch.

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