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Robots, car washes, cobblestones - for a durable electric car

Robots, car washes, cobblestones – for a durable electric car

© Ford / Mustang Mac E

The Ford Mustang Mach-E has undergone rigorous endurance tests to increase consumer confidence that all-electric vehicles are suitable for everyday use

Ford has been testing cars for 118 years and has now used this knowledge to demonstrate the durability and everyday usability of the all-electric Mustang Mach-E*. From intense car washes and stress tests with seated robots to relentless journeys on cobbled roads – it was a test of electric vehicle endurance far from normal daily practice. The tests the Mustang Mach-E has passed, inside and out, match the tough test profile that Ford pickups usually have to pass. “We went to great lengths to put the Mustang Mach-E to rigorous testing, deliberately exceeding the stress level of typical vehicle use,” says Donna Dixon, Ford Mustang Mach-E’s chief program engineer.

Car wash stress tests

About 13 percent of Europeans aren’t sure if electric cars can be transported in the rain – let alone they can be driven through a car wash. So, Ford subjected the Mustang Mach-E to a total of 60 consecutive passes of a car wash using spray nozzles, brushes and dryers—this corresponds to a biweekly car wash for over two years. To test the all-electric vehicle for any leaks and damage that could theoretically be caused by solid jets of water from the nozzles, the team worked on door frames, panels, hood, headlights, taillights, and external adhesive ties for a mistreated Ford Mustang Mach- E So. The spray pressure was up to 1,700 psi (117 bar) at a temperature of 60°C and a distance of about one meter. Such high pressure cleaning, combined with chemical solvents, can remove stubborn oil stains from garage entrances.

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Seat loading test by robot

A special test robot with the nickname “Robutt” has already been used in the development of a new series. It simulates getting in and out of the car repeatedly because the materials Ford uses for car seats must withstand years of mechanical wear. To do this, the robot occupies up to 25,000 seats on a car seat.

Mustang Mach-E seats have also been robotically loaded in order to simulate constant daily use. In this context, chemical tests have also been carried out to ensure that products such as hand sanitizers do not damage the materials. Additional wear tests have also shown that the surface will not be damaged after a 10-year use cycle. The seat material has also been tested 100,000 times to assess its tear resistance.

Strongly built for everyday use

A crack in the surface of the phone is annoying enough, but a damaged car touchscreen is simply unacceptable. That’s why the 15.5-inch touchscreen on the Mustang Mach-E (model year 2021) uses special Dragontrail (TM) glass for maximum durability. The special glass is mounted on a strong magnesium frame that can withstand tensile and shock loads.

“The display on the Mustang Mach-E is important to the driving experience,” says Dickinson. “It’s the heart of the interior and catches the eye of the occupants.” “So we wanted to make sure that the touchscreen was so durable that it could permanently withstand daily customer interactions and, above all, not be damaged – think, for example, of purses or bags that it could crash into.”

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gravel roads? no problem

In order to test paint quality, the Mustang Mach-E had to prove itself on off-road cobbled roads with different track profiles, among other things. Two different sizes of gravel grains were used. The car was driven at a speed of up to 100 km / h. The coating was then checked for any damage caused by stone chips.

“We tested the Mustang Mach-E under tough conditions and also under tough conditions so customers wouldn’t have to worry about paint damage on cobbled roads, for example,” Dickinson explains.

The article was published online by: / Doris Holler /