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EV/AV Report: April 16, 2021

Toronto, Ontario – In this week’s electric and autonomous vehicle report, EV charging software developers, EV Connect enter the Canadian market, Ford unveils new Blue Cruise self-driving platform and Mercedes-Benz introduces its first all-electric luxury sedan.

Canadian Connection

A new challenger emerges in the arena of EV charging networks, as EV Connect officially makes its entrance into the Canadian EV market.

EV Connect says that their initial plan for Canada is to empower businesses of all sizes to provide 1,000 EV charging stations by the end of 2022, through the use of the company’s software.

“We look forward to serving the Canadian market and lending our expertise to those who face the challenge of managing complex choices around hardware and software, network integrations, physical installations, and long-term management and maintenance of charging stations,” said CEO of EV Connect Jordan Ramer. 

“Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s goal to reduce Canada’s emissions to 40 percent below 2005-levels by ramping up cleantech and sustainability efforts perfectly aligns with EV Connect’s vision. Together, we are excited to build a greener planet and collaborate to reach Canada’s decarbonization goals.”

Cruising into the Future

Ford has officially unveiled its new self-driving platform, BlueCruise, set to be patched into current-year F-150s and Mustang E-Machs, later this year.

According to Ford, BlueCruise will allow hands-free driving on “prequalified sections of divided highways called Hands-Free Blue Zones that make up more than 100,000 miles of North American roads.

What makes BlueCruise unique, is the inclusion of an active driver monitoring system in the form of an infrared sensor on the steering column that tracks the drivers’ eyes to make sure they are keeping them on the road.

Not every F-150 and Mach-E will be automatically eligible for the software update. F-150 owners who opted for the $1,595 Ford Co-Pilot 360 Active 2.0 package can purchase BlueCruise for an additional $600. For Mustang Mach-E owners, BlueCruise will come standard on the CA Route 1, Premium, and First Edition variants as part of the $3,200 Comfort and Technology package.

Benz’s Best

Mercedes-Benz is finally getting in the luxury EV game with the recent introduction of the EQS 580 4MATIC sedan, set to hit Canadian roads this fall.

With a range of around 700 km and an output of up to 385 kW, Mercedes boasts that “the powertrain of the EQS meets every expectation of a progressive sedan in the S-Class segment.”

As part of its Ambition 2039 initiative, Mercedes is working on offering a new carbon-neutral car fleet within 20 years. 

As early as 2030, the company wants more than half the cars it sells globally to feature electric drive systems, including fully electric vehicles and plug-in hybrids.

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