A few years back, one of my clients had me drive his Tesla. He came to our office and had me drive his car to my house, where I presented the Crestron Home experience. This all-electric automobile was a technology powerhouse. From the mammoth center council screen to the ability to see other cars on the road, Tesla rethought the vehicle from the ground up.
“You should own one of these,” he declared. “As a tech person, I expect you to have such a technology-driven car.”
A year or so later, I did a test drive of the Tesla Model Y and, while I liked it, I did not love it. For example, you need to look at the large center touchscreen to see your speed at any given time. The car knows you’re there; therefore, there is no start button. While I understand there is not a need for the button, I am old school enough to desire it.
So, I began researching other options and came across Ford’s new Mustang Mach-E. As this was August of 2021, the ability even to get a car was already tricky. Luckily, the manager at our local dealership owned one and let me test-drive his.
I was hooked! And nine months after giving a deposit, my car finally arrived.
The Mustang Mach-E is a Tesla copycat but more approachable. It has a button to start the vehicle and a pop-up screen right above the steering wheel, always giving you your speed. I sprang for the Premium version as that version came with a glass roof. (Note that this model is no longer available to order due to high demand, but you can sign up for the 2023 model starting at $46,895 with a potential $7500 in tax credits.) This version won AAA’s Best Overall car for 2022.
Related: Changing the Power Dynamic
Range: The first thing one asks when I say I have an all-electric car is, how far can you go? The answer: it depends. On average, I will have 200–216 miles on a complete change, which may change as the weather cools down. I have also learned that an electric mile is not a literal mile. Your range will vary depending on how much AC or heat you’re using, how you drive the car, and if you are using one-pedal driving.
Charger: We purchased and installed a third-party charger at our house. I charge a few times weekly, and it feels like leaving home with a full gas tank. On average, over the last three months, charging has raised our electric bill by only $50 per month; indeed, less than an average tank of gas!
One-Pedal Driving: Once turned on using the large touchscreen, one-pedal driving lets you control the speed using your accelerator pedal. This allows the vehicle to slow down or stop when you release the pedal. EVs use regenerative braking, capturing the kinetic energy typically lost while coasting and breaking, which will help extend the range.
On a recent trip to Rochester and back (148-mile round trip), we watched the range continue to change depending on how I was driving. At one point, we had less range than miles left, but after getting stuck in a bit of traffic, we made it back, barely, with only 9 miles left. It was like playing a video game, but not for the faint of heart.
Audio: One of the first things I inspect when looking for a new car is the type of audio system. This car does not disappoint with a 10-speaker Bang & Olufsen sound system, including a subwoofer that had my teenager and friends begging to play their music louder.
Co-Pilot360: Ford’s Co-Pilot is like having Goose in the car with me. It includes everything from automatic emergency braking with pedestrian detection, illuminates your mirrors when someone is in your blind spot, and keeps your vehicle in lane. There are cameras everywhere on this car, beyond just backing up. If you’re inching toward a curb, your screen automatically turns on the front camera to see how close you are.
Like other newer cars, adaptive cruise control will speed up and slow down with traffic, but it also can automatically adjust your vehicle’s set speed to the posted speed limit. Let’s make a promise here and now never to share this information with my insurance company.
Ford BlueCruise: Ford took all this co-pilot stuff to another level with BlueCruise, a hands-free highway driving feature on certain sections of divided highways. When setting your cruise, a pop-up shows on your dashboard screen letting you know BlueCrusie is available. To agree, hit okay. If you miss it, it is hard to get back. If you agree, the screen will glow, and you can say, “Look, mom, no hands.”
But don’t think that means you can catch up on emails; there is an impressively sensitive driver monitoring camera system making sure you’re looking at the road. It’s almost creepy if it wasn’t so cool and works even if you’re wearing sunglasses. What can you do while watching the road but not driving? I recommend eating lunch or dancing in your seat. Depending on the road, it will disengage, but chimes to let you know to take up the slack.
It’s the little things: Ford’s new EV Mustang can go fast quickly! Depending on the model, you’re looking at 0-60 in under 5 seconds, and it feels like a dream. She is very comfortable driving, although the rear seat shocks are more like a performance vehicle than a luxury one. I’m also a tremendous fan of the hands-free CarPlay; I don’t miss plugging in my phone! There is also hands-free charging if available on your phone.
Every year my company donates labor and sets up a movie in the park in our local village. We use it as a team-building exercise, getting dinner and a few drinks for the team. As I walked out of the beer store this year, I panicked as I needed a cooler. Not to worry, as the Mach-e comes with a Frunk. What is a frunk? As an electric vehicle has no engine, there is space where the engine would go. Ford took this opportunity to turn this space into a cooler, complete with cup holders and a drain. Not game-changing, but fun!
The FordPass app will give you the charge level and distance to empty, allow you to start the car, set up your phone as a key, and find charging stations near you.
Since I drove this vehicle home, I have loved every second. The Ford Mach-e is a technology-forward automobile that is a thrill to drive. Technology can improve your life in the places you live, work AND drive!