If you’re still sitting on the fence with the dilemma of going electric, Ford has the encouragement – and proof – you need to make the decision a little easier.
Robustness and reliability are two things we all look for in a car. With the everyday toll our cars deal with both inside and out, some drivers may feel uneasy about switching to electric. There is little talk about the hardiness and safety of electric models – and Ford is here to challenge the perception.
With 118-years of vehicle torture testing under their belt, Ford has put their first dedicated electric vehicle through its paces. Inflicting a raft of punishment on the Mustang Mach-E, the EV was faced with everything from hammer hits to extreme car washes, robotic butts, and sharp gravel roads, as Ford engineers set out to prove the car’s durability.
“We have gone to great lengths to subject Mustang Mach-E to extreme tests – stressing it much more than a typical consumer would – to help ensure it is ready to face the rigor of the open road,” said Donna Dickson, chief programme engineer, Mustang Mach-E.
The Mustang Mach-E: Ford’s Torture-Testing Results
1. Wash the car at will
Around 13 per cent of Europeans are unsure if electric vehicles can get wet while being driven in the rain. Much less be able to go through a full car wash. Ford subjected Mustang Mach-E to 60 passes through a brutal, suds-free automatic conveyor wash. Complete with sprayers, brushes, and dryers – the equivalent of a wash every two weeks for more than two years.
The team used a sprayer with 1,700 PSI capability to help test against leaks and other exterior damage that could be caused by water. They blasted the door frames, trim, cowling, badges, headlamps, taillamps and adhesives of the Mustang Mach-E with the high-pressure water sprayer at a temperature of 60 degrees Celsius.
2. Robutt-tested for your comfort
Ford tested for just about anything customers might subject their seats to – especially their derrieres. Ford engineers studied varying weight loads on the seats using a wide range of human body types. The team does this by programming a robotic “butt” form , or “robutt”, to simulate a person getting in and out of the car – at least 25,000 times.
They also extensively tested the vehicle’s ActiveX seating material to withstand daily use and abuse. This included chemical testing to help ensure products like hand sanitiser do not deteriorate the material. This abrasion testing ensures the finish stays put after simulating a 10-year use cycle. It also allowed flexing the seating material 100,000 times to assess its resistance to cracking.
3. Built tough for daily use
A cracked phone screen is never fun, but a cracked touchscreen – especially one with ample functionality – is unacceptable. The 15.5-inch touch screen in the 2021 Mustang Mach-E uses a special application of Dragontrail glass to ensure its durability. It sits on top of a high-strength magnesium mounting that can withstand being pulled or bumped.
The screen in the Mustang Mach-E can withstand daily customer interactions. Think purses and bags hitting it, pets bumping into it, and even children tapping or throwing things at it, and so on.
- READ: Electric Car Range Guide
4. No stone left unturned
Mustang Mach-E customers should be confident that they can drive their vehicle where the pavement ends and gravel roads begin. And not come back with a new “speckled” paint job.
To do this, Ford engineers subjected Mustang Mach-E to 300 miles of stone-chip testing on gravel roads. This helped to evaluate damage caused to body paint by small rocks and cinder. Ford used two different grades of gravel stones to test as professional drivers fishtailed Mustang Mach-E over a miles-long stretch of scattered gravel on pavement at 60 mph nearly 200 times.
Once the first test was completed, the team then swapped the gravel for an even sharper grade of stone and repeated the test all over again.
After all, electric vehicles won’t be limited to just nicely paved city streets and suburbs. Whether you’re commuting to work, or taking on a bumpy country road, the Mustang Mach-E will remain in-tact.