New York City aims to become a carbon-neutral metropolis by 2050, and as part of that goal, the city wants its vehicle fleet to be entirely electric by 2035. The Department of Hygiene has tried electric dump trucks, for example, and the city also announced late last year that they ordered 184 new Ford Mustang Mach-E GT electric crossovers for police and other city departments. On April 15, the NYPD revealed one of them at the Javits Center, at the New York International Auto Show.
New EV chargers are being installed in the suburbs, and the car will enter rotation this summer. The city has also approved the acquisition of an additional 250 Tesla Model 3 police cars, although that order has not yet been implemented.
Electric vehicles are a boon from an environmental point of view, and can be a good fit for police departments: Many hours of a patrol car day are spent idle with the engine running, doing nothing but emitting exhaust greenhouse gases. By starting the transition to a fleet of electric patrol cars, the NYPD can reduce the carbon it releases into cities.
Ford has traditionally been the king of police cars, building hundreds of thousands of cars over the years in the form of Crown Victorias. The Blue Oval submitted the Mach-E electric crossover for approval by the Michigan State Police last September, and it passed the test, becoming the first battery electric vehicle to do so. During the test it was rated above average. It was praised for its trunk accessibility, but a docking point for dashboard accessibility and lacked for engine compartment accessibility. (The latter is likely to be difficult to assess, as the Mustang Mach-E doesn’t have an engine or engine compartment to access.)
While the Mach-E GT ranks highest among potential police cars in acceleration and braking, it does present a few drawbacks. As part of a test to be certified by the Michigan State Police, the vehicle was subjected to ongoing race track laps and high-speed testing where it ranks fairly poorly compared to existing patrol cars. It was also rated poorly for features officers would use frequently such as HVAC control, rear seat access, and instrument readability. (Meanwhile, an attempt to electrocute several LAPD police cars with a BMW i3 didn’t go well.)
[Related: The USPS just doubled its EV order, but experts say it’s not enough]
At the time of testing, Ford was optimistic about the future of its professional-grade electric police car. “The fact that the Mustang Mach-E 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.
For police duty, the Mach-E GT police interceptor has been equipped with a number of components, such as a department showcased at the Javits Center this month. The first changes are the addition of a rooftop flash system, and an NYPD message board, which allows officers to display information to passing drivers from the back of the roof light pod. The doors and windows have been replaced with ballistic materials, and the standard Mach-E GT panoramic glass roof panels have been replaced with steel.
[Related: Ford added more power to its electric Mustang Mach-E. Here’s how it drives.]
The Mach-E GT is a fairly fast machine compared to typical NYPD vehicles. Ford claims the crossover pumps out 480 horsepower and 600 lb-ft of torque combined from a pair of electric motors, one at each end of the vehicle. That’s good enough to propel a 5,001 pound vehicle from 0-60 in just 3.5 seconds. It will run the quarter mile in 12.7 seconds, which is fast, but relatively slower than other electric crossovers in its class. In comparison, the Tesla Model Y Performance can launch a drag strip in 11.9 seconds. The Mach-E GT is rated to deliver 270 miles of range from an 88 kWh battery pack, though range can drop dramatically at high speeds or in cold temperatures, for example.
This all-electric machine is not cheap. Ford Mustang Mach-E GT starts at $66,000 without any options. Some estimates put the cost of fitting a vehicle to police car standards in the $40,000 range. That could raise costs by more than $100,000 per vehicle purchased, making the NYPD’s order to Ford possibly more than $18 million.
On the other hand, electric vehicles don’t wear out like gasoline powered vehicles, and don’t require regular services like oil changes, and brakes last longer. Of course these patrol cars still need occasional inspections, and new tires, but in the long run the electric patrol cars are expected to save on fuel and municipal service costs. Several police stores that have been converted into electric fleets have reported savings of thousands of dollars each year.