Ford subjects Mustang Mach-E to torture testing for checking its durability
Automakers are often asked if electric vehicles are as durable as their combustion engine counterparts. In an attempt to answer this, Ford subjected its Mustang Mach-E to a series of torture testing involving extreme car washes, power sprayers, robotic butts and sharp gravel roads. The aim of this test is to give the confidence to its prospective buyers to take a leap to electric.
To debunk the skepticism that electric vehicles cannot be driven around while it is raining or cannot handle a full fledged car washing, Ford put its Mach-E through 60 passes at an onsite automatic car washing system that comes with sprayers, brushes and dryers – the equivalent of a wash every two weeks for more than two years.
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To check for leaks and other exterior damage due to water, the automaker blasted the door frames, trim, cowling, badges, headlamps, taillamps and adhesives of the vehicle with a high-pressure water sprayer that is capable of pressures up to 1,700 PSI and a temperature of 140 degrees. Water was sprayed from a short distance of about one foot away.
Next, Ford wanted to test the impact of daily use on the ActiveX seating material of the Mach-E. The company programmed a robotic 'butt' form to simulate a person getting in and out of their vehicle – at least 25,000 times. Chemical testing on the seat material helped determine that products like hand sanitizer do not deteriorate the material. The successful testing proved that ActiveX seating material in the Mustang Mach-E can withstand daily use.
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Ford then took its Mach-E to to 300 miles of stone-chip testing on gravel roads to evaluate damage caused to body paint by small rocks. Two different grades of gravel stones were used while professional drivers drove the vehicle along the stretch of scattered gravel on pavement at 60 mph nearly 200 times. "Electric vehicles shouldn’t be limited to nicely paved city streets and suburbia," said Donna Dickson, chief program engineer, Mustang Mach-E.
Ford also claims that the 15.5-inch touchscreen in the 2021 Mustang Mach-E uses a special application of Dragontrail glass to ensure its longevity.