Letter to the Editor: 2022 Ford Mustang Mach-E

This electrified SUV offers an EV experience to one owner’s friend—and lessons on planning ahead

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Not the owner but still have a new vehicle opinion in kind words? We may consider publishing it as a Letter to the Editor, as we did in Paul J. Starr’s post below.

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A good friend of mine bought a Ford Mustang Mach-E electric SUV last fall. Yes, it was love at first sight when I first saw this incredible driving machine. From the Mustang logo projected lightly onto the pavement to the rocket-like acceleration, this car seems to exemplify the EV driving experience.

The interior is comfortable with plenty of legroom and headroom. The center display resembles a giant iPhone, with easy-to-use controls and settings. The sound system is very good with lots of options for the user to choose from. There is ample storage space in the hatchback’s trunk and “frunk.” Interior lighting is soft and well focused.

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My friend recently uploaded a software update that includes improved browsing control options. The driver can take his hands off the steering wheel and the car can drive by itself. Of course, the driver couldn’t go to the back seat and play cards with his wife. The vehicle monitors the driver’s eyes to ensure his attention remains on the road even when cruise control is activated. It’s a little hard to get used to, especially if you’re in the passenger seat.

Last weekend, my friend’s wife and I planned a three-night stay in Franconia Notch, New Hampshire, a beautiful state park on the west side of the White Mountains featuring scenic hiking trails, quiet beaches and miles of scenic views. My friend decided that we would travel there with Mach-E. The distance from Montreal to our destination was exactly 300km, a hundred kilometers less than the published 400km Mach-E with a full load.

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The Ford Mustang Mach-E appears to be an example of the EV driving experience

Unfortunately, this estimate doesn’t seem to account for the added weight of three passengers, four pieces of luggage, and two coolers full of food and drink. The day trip was hot and sunny, and the AC worked great. By the time we reached our destination, the remaining mileage on the battery was less than 15 percent, or about 60 km. According to the provided app, there are no charging stations in the nearby area. Our accommodation is a few kilometers from the nearest town.

I suggested that we plug the car into a 110 volt outlet outside the cab, but my friend explained that 110V charging is very inefficient and can take several hours to add a few percentage points to the range. The only 220 volt outlet was in the basement of the house, and we didn’t have an extension long enough to use it. We knew we would use the car every day to access trails, beaches, restaurants and grocery stores, so the right charging solution had to be found.

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2022 Ford Mustang Mach-E
2022 Ford Mustang Mach-E Photo by Sami Haj-Assaad

Well, it seems that Franconia Notch and surrounding towns in New Hampshire haven’t supported the evolution of EVs, and there are no fast charging stations in the region. We had to drive all the way back to St. Johnsbury, Vermont, where we found a Ford dealer with two available fast chargers. We hooked up Mach-E and walked around town while waiting for the vehicle to recharge to 80 percent, enough to get us through the weekend. While this whole business took about two hours of our planned trip, the upside was that we had a nice walk, and some great homemade ice cream.

One neat app is that the Mach-E can communicate with the driver and update the charging progress. When the battery reached 80 percent (after about twenty minutes) we walked back to the dealer and picked up the vehicle. The rest of the trip was fortunately without problems, and we were able to stop in Burlington on our way back for lunch and shopping while the Mach-E recharged once more. In general, Vermont appears to be much more EV-friendly than its neighbors. Fast chargers are located in most shopping center parking lots, hotels, and on some streets.

Well, the Mustang Mach-E costs a little over my paycheck, so I’ll continue to enjoy it through my friends. The trip is very comfortable and quiet. The car feels solid and the attention to detail is evident. My next vehicle might be an EV, maybe a Chevy Bolt or a Hyundai Kona EV, but the lesson to be learned when taking your EV on vacation is to plan ahead. Wherever you plan to travel with your vehicle, avoid anxiety by making sure there is a nearby charging station.

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