Following the UK Government’s recent announcement that the sale of new diesel and gasoline powered cars could be banned as early as 2032 the Ford Go Electric roadshow was in London in February to promote their electric and hybrid electric vehicles and AA Thornton Automotive & Aerospace team members Nikesh Patel, Alex Bone and Marianne Privett went along to take a look.
The new fully electric Ford Mustang MachE was the centrepiece of the Go Electric roadshow and with a 370 mile range and a 0-60 mph time of less than 5 seconds (as experienced in a simulator by Marianne Privett:
It has attracted a lot of positive press attention. Even Elon Musk, founder and CEO of electric vehicle rival Tesla, is a fan congratulating Ford when they announced its launch:
Congratulations on the Mach E! Sustainable/electric cars are the future!! Excited to see this announcement from Ford, as it will encourage other carmakers to go electric too.
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) November 18, 2019
Ford have committed to making all their vehicles in some way electric starting with 14 models this year. Those 14 models include all electric vehicles (Mustang and Transit) and a range of hybrids including plug-in hybrids (Kuga, Explorer, Tourneo Custom, Transit Customer), hybrids (Kuga, Mindel) and mild hybrids (Fiesta, Focus, Kuga, Transit Custom, Transit). Displays at the roadshow helped explain how each type of electric vehicle worked (and the three main types of hybrid vehicle are explained here in Stuart Greenwood’s article with the aim of helping potential customers decide which vehicles were compatible with their needs.
The roadshow also included an interactive display to help demonstrate the effectiveness of different modes of charging ranging from a domestic plug to a purpose built, high-power charger. The significant order of magnitude reduction in charging time makes it clear that purpose built, high power chargers such as those provided by Ionity (a joint venture founded by BMW Group, Daimler AG, Ford Motor Company, Volkswagen Group, Audi and Porsche) offer significant benefits to electric vehicle owners, with a 20 minute charge providing enough charge for an electric vehicle owner to continue on their journey.
Ford describe electric vehicles as one of the stepping stones to autonomous vehicles, whether all OEMs share this point of view is unclear as there is no need for an autonomous vehicle to be electric. However, the majority of motor manufacturers are investing heavily in both electric vehicle technology and autonomous vehicle technology.
It is clear that electric cars are no longer the slow milk floats of old. They rival and, in some cases, beat the internal combustion engine competition in terms of pace and comfort, but there are still issues. Other than a current lack of charging infrastructure, range anxiety and charging rates still seem to be the biggest hurdles to wider acceptance of all electric vehicles. This means that improvements to battery technology remain a key area of research and AA Thornton will continue to monitor developments in this field by attending and presenting at events including the Battery Tech Expo, the Autonomous Vehicles Expo, LCV and CAM Cenex, Auto IP Europe and Wo-Men Automotive Summit. AA Thornton’s Automotive & Aerospace team look forward to helping protect innovation in these areas and related areas of automotive technology in 2020.