We’ll say it again: Ready or not, electrically powered automobiles are here to stay and they’re going to be coming at us en masse during the coming years. To that end, the Ford Motor Company has announced plans to create and offer North America’s largest charging network for electric vehicles, consisting of more than 12,000 charging locations across the continent supporting up to 35,000 individual charging plugs. Drivers will be allowed to access a new FordPass app on their mobile phones or through an electric vehicle’s on-screen dashboard, which will allow drivers to locate a charging station, following the progress of the charge and, yes, pay for their fresh load of juice.
Industry observers generally agree that one obstacle to widespread acceptance of electric vehicles is buyer concerns about where they’ll be able to find a place to get them recharged. Ford says its network will be the biggest in North America, and should help to alleviate those worries and just maybe, make buyers embrace the technology with fewer trepidations. Forthcoming electric Fords, including the Mustang-based SUV that’s coming to market next year, will come standard with a Ford Mobile Charger that will be able to handle both 120- and 240-volt outlets, a technology developed in partnership with Amazon that will allow a vehicle to fully charge overnight. The FordPass charging network will allow a vehicle to take on 47 miles of range in just 10 minutes, meaning you’ll be able to juice up your ride while you juice up with your favorite latte. Ford expects to spend $11.5 billion on advancing the reach of electric technology by 2022.