A reader wanted my take on a “shootout” between the electric crossover-thing Ford styles a “Mustang” and a Tesla Model Y. I almost shot my lunch. My comments follow his query:
I saw this review of the new Mustang Mach-E against the Tesla Model Y and it struck me as really sad and depressing. They seem to spend most of the contest worrying about running out of juice, and the final battle is a struggle to get the charging stations to work. The one time they actually punch it, the “Mustang” (it’s a disgrace to the name) disappoints quickly. Old Camaro vs. Mustang comparisons generally didn’t have to focus on not running out of gas and the people generally seemed to actually enjoy themselves as opposed to the dejected Mustang driver in this review. I wondered what a professional car guy who’s not an electric Kool-Aid drinker would think of this. Hopefully this isn’t the future of “performance car” road trips.
Well, to begin with, it’s not a Mustang shootout. That four-door crossover-thing is a Mustang like an Elvis impersonator is Elvis – only worse because it doesn’t even look like Elvis, much less sound like him.
It has no moves, either.
Ford owns the Mustang name so it can tack it on a box of oatmeal if it wants to – legally. But it’s no less an affront to the name.
That’s for openers. As regards the rest:
What we have here is a “shootout” between two $40,000-50,000-plus electric cars that can’t do what most any $2,500 15-year-old used economy car can do – i.e., travel more than 300 miles without having to stop for a long wait. It’s sad – and delusional. The not-laughing, I mean. The normalizing of this regression of mobility – for which those who can afford it will pay through the nose.
One can buy a real Mustang – a GT – for about $35,000. It has a 430 hp V8 and gets to 60 in just under 4 seconds. It also goes 384 highway miles on a tank and can be fully refueled for another 384 miles in about 5 minutes at any gas station.
And leaving that aside, it’s fun to drive – something Mustangs used to always deliver. There is a manual transmission and there is a magnificent V8 that sings rather than whirrrrrrs like a Makita drill.
The Mach-E not-Mustang stickers for $43,895. It is roughly as quick as the actual Mustang. But it only goes about 222 miles – maybe – before it has to stop for that extended pit-stop. It takes at least 30 minutes to recover a partial charge, if you can find a “fast” charger. If you can’t find one, the wait will be an hour or longer to go not much farther.
So, let’s do some EV Maff and calculate the regression.
You pay $8,895 more up front to drive the not-Mustang about half as far and to wait five times as long – best case – before you can get going again. And people are enthusiastic about this?
Thank you, sir! May I have another?
It’s even worse than the Maff indicates because the Maff is actually much worse – if you subtract from the equation the range you won’t have after a “fast” charge and add to the equation what it will cost to wire up your house to “fast” charge the not-Mustang, which most houses are not wired to do.
Some cannot be wired to do it because their panels are only 100 amp service and that’s not enough juice to power a “fast” charger. But assuming a 200 amp panel, you still have to pay and even then, it’s not actually “fast” in the way that the commercial “fast” chargers at dealers and other not-at-home places are “fast” because you need commercial service to “fast” charge an EV in the 15-30minutes deceptively touted by the hawkers of EVs.
And even then, it’s only a partial “fast” charge because a full “fast” charge risks a fire or damage to the EV. (It’s the reason why you read almost weekly about EVs going all hot-zig and up in smoke.)
So, if these tests – and ads – were honest – they’d adjust the EV’s range downward to reflect what it is after a “fast” partial charge rather than a several-hours-long charge to full. They’d add the cost to the sticker price of getting your home wired – assuming you can.
And your “fast” home charge? It is only “faster” than waiting overnight for a charge via the household 120V outlet in the garage.
You’ll also need to do the Charge Kabuki much more often if you use the not-Mustang’s 4 seconds to 60 capability. The faster you drive, the sooner you wait. This is a cost, too – and one you don’t pay with the Mustang, no matter how fast you drive it. Because there is no wait to get back to full and much less anxiety if you’re running close to empty. Even if you do run out, you can get going again because gas is portable. Electricity isn’t, not practically. It’s true you could send for a charge truck to get the not-Mustang going again. But that is not the same as getting a gallon from the station down the road and bringing it back to the actual Mustang.
Sam Kineson – the ex-preacher turned comedian – had a great routine about it never ending, even after you die and had hoped that, at last, there would be peace.
This EV freak show is kind of like that.
. . . .
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