Ford Mustang Mach-E tested as the police car of the future

When Ford became the first automaker to offer a factory-issued police package in 1950, it established itself as the face of police cars. The Blue Oval logo—which was actually the emblem of the time—is still the first thing most motorists see through the back window before accepting a ticket.

A lot has changed in 71 years. The iconic image of a police car changes from a black and white sedan to a variety of SUVs, pickups, vans and more. Vehicles with more space, more lights, and more technology have become a goal of law enforcement, giving Ford the perfect opportunity to prove that its new electric Mustang Mach-E can meet the challenges that police face every day.

[RELATED: Ford’s electric Mustang Mach-E is an important leap into the future]

In mid-September, Ford handed the Mach-E Police Pilot keys to the Michigan State Police, one of two law enforcement agencies in the state that tests each year for potential patrol car recruits. Each vehicle tested has a score that is tabulated and published as a public report. Naturally, the police car king wanted his new electric crossover to come into action.

Tests that assess vehicle performance include scenarios that mimic potential pursuits, allowing testers to measure the car’s acceleration, braking, top speed, and agility around the track being tracked. The tester then checks the utility of the car by evaluating its ergonomics and accessibility—instrumentation, vehicle controls and overall outside visibility are key during this grading process. And finally, they assess the car’s fuel economy to estimate its operating costs.

While the Michigan State Police have yet to report on the Mach-E’s exact performance in this area, Ford says the Mach-E is able to stay ahead of the competition, a group of tried and true gasoline-powered cars.

“The fact that the Mustang Mach-E has survived a grueling Michigan State Police evaluation shows that Ford can build an electric vehicle that’s capable, tough, and reliable enough for even the most challenging jobs,” said Ted Cannis, CEO of the automaker. . commercial division, Ford Pro. “We understand the needs of our commercial customers and are committed to opening up new electrification opportunities for them.”

Not only did Ford test the Mach-E as a police car for US customers, but it also built concept designs for Bobbies across the pond.

In early September, Ford unveiled the Mustang Mach-E police concept for police in the UK. Equipped with a so-called “blue light” livery, the Mach-E features the same high-visibility Battenburg markings and emergency lights as other police vehicles in the UK while offering a modern approach to an aging gas and diesel-powered fleet. Since showing off the model, seven separate British police forces have requested a full evaluation of the Mach-E as the police car of the future.

Ford’s pitch to various police departments was all about crossover efficiency and potential cost savings over traditional cruisers with internal combustion engines. While the idea of ​​an electric police car may seem like a foreign concept, law enforcement agencies around the world are starting to take the message.

In America, the popularity of battery-powered patrol cars is growing. The Bargersville Police Department in Indiana began using the Tesla Model 3 as a tagged police vehicle in 2019—today, there are five. Likewise, police in Fremont, California (where Tesla vehicles are manufactured) recently purchased its first Tesla Model Y to complement its existing Model S.

The biggest driving factor for many agencies is money. Although the department will pay more upfront for electric vehicles, the overall cost savings over the life of the vehicle can make the purchase almost cost-effective compared to traditional gasoline-powered units.

Police in Nitro, West Virginia believe their department’s newly purchased $42,000 Tesla Model 3 could save them more than $4,000 per year on fuel and maintenance. Compared to the $38,000 the department normally spends on gas-powered cruisers, it took less than two years to see immediate savings. The Bargersville department’s police chief said the department’s fleet of electric police cars saves more than $6,300 per car per year, or enough to help the department hire two new officers.

When Ford starts offering versions of its electric vehicles, it’s inevitable that more officers will find themselves behind the wheel of battery-powered cars. The Mach-E happens to be Ford’s first offering in the EV space, and Blue Oval wants to prove that electric can be just as good—if not better—than gas.

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