Our Rides: The Electric Galloping Horse?
Over the years, we often pat ourselves on the back as being most likely to be first adopters of anything. After all, LGBTQ consumers love to get the latest and greatest technology to advance our lives and keep us ahead of society’s curve.
A prime example has been our embrace of electric vehicles. This is aligned with a demographic study that shows this community’s want of embracing environmentally friendly solutions to improve our lives ahead of the rest of society.
Not everyone has bought into the idea of an electric vehicle. There are those of us who are priced out of the automotive market completely, let alone looking at a pre-owned EV or hybrid vehicle. As much as we desire to own an electrified vehicle, there are other considerations to be made that add to the cost of living with one.
Years of talking about EVs, as well as getting in brief drives of them, made me wonder what it’s like to actually have one to use on a regular basis.
Ford responded by sending a 2021 Mustang Mach-E to my doorstep for a week.
Granted, a week is not enough time to absorb the EV lifestyle. However, it provided enough time to test the waters and see what the fuss is all about. How to live without having to stop at a gas station to fuel up.
First of all, what is a Ford Mustang Mach-E?
It is the first true execution of Ford’s battery-electric vehicle architecture. The crossover/SUV was born from a platform with a flat battery pack positioned between the two axles with the vehicle built on top of it. The body takes the shape of a Mustang coupe, except for the sheer size, the four doors, and hatchback – rather, liftgate – with an extended roof line.
There are a lot of cool functions the Mustang Mach-E offers. To open the doors, you press a button on the pillar/frame to gain access. Front doors have a little “handle” to swing the door open. Underneath the hood is a small “frunk” – about 4.7 cubic feet of secure space.
Inside the Mustang Mach-E is a future-forward interior design. That includes a small, wide instrument cluster screen with minimal information. Just enough data to help you with your driving. In the middle is a huge 15.5-inch touchscreen in a portrait orientation. This houses Ford’s Sync 4A infotainment system and controls most functions inside the vehicle. You shift with the rotary dial on the center console.
One of the big features Ford loves to tout of the Mustang Mach-E is its driving modes. Engage is the perfect middle ground for everyday driving. You can put it into Whisper mode for a more efficient drive. However, if you want your Mach-E to act like a Mustang, put it into Unbridled mode for quicker acceleration and more aggressive driving characteristics.
Our Premium trim model has all-wheel drive, which puts an electric motor on each axle. In total, these two motors combined provide a peak power rating of 316 horsepower and 428 pound-feet of peak torque. It is also equipped with an 88-kilowatt-hour extended use battery pack, which gave us a range of 245 miles from a 100% charge.
That’s about it for the Mustang Mach-E. The reality of this vehicle is not because of its name, but rather that it is Ford’s best electric vehicle right now – until the F-150 Lightning shows up in people’s driveways and carports.
So, what was it like living with the Mustang Mach-E?
The one thing that I noticed was my own range anxiety. We’re used to seeing the fuel gauge’s needle to be prompted to fill ‘er up at the nearest gas station. With an electric vehicle, if you don’t have the infrastructure set up at home, you have to find a place to charge up.
With the Mustang Mach-E, you have to download the FordPass app. It practically monitors everything, enables you to remotely check your vehicle, and helps you to find the nearest charging station. The Blue Oval Charge Network identifies certain stations that will work with your Ford EV. They tend to lean towards DC Fast Chargers for quicker recharging overall.
The preferred network for Ford is ElectrifyAmerica, which has only two DC Fast Chargers in our region: One in Woodbury, the other in Eau Claire. Ford also lists other DC Fast Charging stations on other networks, such as ChargePoint and Greenlots. These are found elsewhere in Minnesota and across the state line.
On one such charge, the Mustang Mach-E was down to about 62 percent of battery charge. I took it to the ElectrifyAmerica station in Woodbury and put it on its highest-level charger. It took 23 minutes to recapture 19% more charge to 81% battery. FordPass calculated that it added 71 miles to the Mustang Mach-E’s range. On a different charging session at the same charging station, we filled up the battery from 21% to 81% in just 38 minutes.
From our editorial office in Edina, getting to the ElectrifyAmerica station is about a 28-mile drive. There are DC Fast Charging stations closer to us within Ford’s network. However, we found that either they did not work with the vehicle, or the station was reserved for a specific brand of vehicle other than Ford.
Otherwise, you can live with an electric vehicle without having to fork over the money to get your home wired for a charging station. Keep in mind that you are limited to as much as a Level 2 home charger and will take hours to get the battery to at least 80%. We did exactly that, however we went for a full 100% battery recharged using a home Level 2 charger. It took over 13 hours for the top off from about under 65%. Once you go past 80% on a charge, the process becomes much slower.
There are many considerations when it comes to electric vehicles. Charging will become the largest piece towards ownership. It is something to think about if you are planning to live with an electric vehicle.
If you’re already living with an electric vehicle, maybe you can give us some advice on how to truly get the best out of the experience for us. We could use some, as there will be more electric vehicles coming our way.