2023 Mustang Mach e – First Drive

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The Ford Mustang Mach e and the Ford F-150 Lightning have little in common – other than being electrically powered. But – as it turns out – they do have one thing in common. Something that may be common to electric vehicles, generally.

It is that the range indicated seems to be optimistic by about 15-20 percent.

I began my first drive of the Mach e today, with 161 miles of range supposedly available. But after driving 50 miles, the range indicated had dropped to 94 miles, which means I burned through 67 miles of the originally indicated range. I experienced a roughly similar disparity driving the Lightning pick-up.

Given how different these two vehicles are, the similarity must have something to do with the – for want of a better term – burn rate of whatever power is stored in the battery pack.

It’s not a catastrophic drop, indicated vs. actual. The real problem is the compounding problem – that being the time it takes to put range back into these things.

If we were talking about a non-electric vehicle – my ’02 Nissan pick-up, for instance – then a range of even 50 miles (the tank almost empty, maybe two gallons of gas left) would be inconsequential because of the convenience of just stopping for a couple of minutes to pump in more fuel, which can be done at any gas station.

But in an electric vehicle, 50 miles of indicated range remaining means you’re getting close to a big inconvenience, if you need to keep on going farther than that. Or need to get back on the road sooner than at least half an hour from now – assuming there’s a “fast” charger nearby. I put the term in air fingers quote marks to make a point of mocking the use of that word to describe having to wait even half an hour for what normally takes a fraction of that time (in a non-electric vehicle) and to point out the very relevant fact that things go even slower at some “fast” chargers, as I found out last week, when I spent more than an hour at one to pump a meager 100 miles of indicated range back into the Lightning. Which, of course, turned out to be about 70 miles of indicated range remaining, by the time I drove back home – leaving me with probably about 55 actual driving miles of range remaining.

This still wouldn’t be so bad – were it not for the compounding problem of putting more range back into the vehicle.

Yes, I can plug the Mach e in, at home. This is certainly convenient, assuming I do not need to leave home again until tomorrow. For that is how long (overnight) it takes to pump any meaningful range back into the vehicle using a standard 120V household outlet and the Ford-supplied charging apparatus. This consists of a male outlet that plugs into your household outlet and a nozzle-looking thing you plug into a port on the side of the vehicle. There is a box in between that makes sure enough (and not not too much) current is passing through the cable connecting house outlet to vehicle.

The next option is somewhat “faster” charging – at home – using 240V AC power.  But – the catch! – unless you have had your home wired to be capable of this (and purchased the extra-cost apparatus Ford will sell you that you need to have in order to be able to do this) the best you will be able to do is charge very slowly, overnight.

Unless, of course, you stop at a high-voltage DC “fast” charger. But then you have to wait there instead of at home. And you will still be waiting at least half an hour, not counting whatever time it took to get there – or the time it takes to get where you want to be, ultimately. Which – presumably – isn’t where the “fast” charger is, as most of these are at shopping centers.

So, in summary, the problem is a combination punch of the indicated range being not much to begin with – relative to most non-electric vehicles – and being less than actually indicated by a significant percentage, compounded by the time it takes to acquire more range.

The question that arises is – is it worth all that?

And the answer will depend on how much you’re willing to put up with, as well as how far you usually need to drive each day. If the latter is less than 100 miles, then it may not be inconvenient to drive an electric vehicle every day as you will rarely, if ever, come close to draining the “tank” and so won’t need to wait overnight if all you need to refill the “tank” is say 30-40 percent of what you started out with. Plus, you will have enough still in the “tank” to be able to drive somewhere, if the need should unexpectedly arise.

But for those of us who drive longer – and haven’t got the time to wait – an EV is probably not the answer.

. . .

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17 COMMENTS

  1. Liberals Who Ditched Tesla And Bought Chevrolet Bolt Now Hit With Recall Over Fire Risk

    For those who made the switch to the Bolt … we have bad news: General Motors Company has recalled 140,000 Bolts in North America because of fire risk.

    About 120,000 U.S. vehicles and 20,000 Canadian vehicles are impacted by the recall.

    Not only is there recall due to fire risk, but also Bolt owners have to deal with extreme ‘winter range anxiety’ as colder temperatures can reduce range by as much as 32%. Teslas vehicles, on average, lost around 16.5% of range in cold weather.

    In not ideal conditions, like when it is very cold out, like -40 F the range drops 50%

    At -7°C, when the climate control system was used to warm the vehicle’s cabin, EV range dropped an average of 41 percent (with an efficiency drop averaging 39 percent) compared to the earlier 24°C baseline.

    when hot out….. At 35°C, use of the climate control to cool the cabin saw an average 17 percent decrease in range (with an 18 percent decrease in efficiency).

    This isn’t the first fire risk for Bolts. There has been a series of other recalls where General Motors ATTENTION…..asked Bolt owners to park “at least 50 feet” from other vehicles due to battery fire risks.

    https://www.zerohedge.com/markets/liberals-who-ditched-tesla-and-bought-chevrolet-bolt-now-hit-recall-over-fire-risk

    • leftists switched to Volts because of musk/twitter….lol

      No Parking Allowed For Chevy Bolt EVs At A Parking Lot In SF

      What will happen if this spreads and includes whole charging networks?

      No parking for EV with lithium fire bomb battery at an outdoor parking lot….lol

      EV’s are starting to get banned at underground parkades too…..lol

      All the most important components in the new EV’s are all made in china. low quality = fire hazard.

      What happens when 2200 Ev’s (a new complex in planning stage will have 2200 parking spaces)….imagine 2200 lithium fire bomb EV’s parked), are parked in underground parking at an apartment block or office tower and they catch fire? You can’t take propane into underground parking, but you can take a fire bomb lithium battery car underground.

      https://insideevs.com/news/531854/no-parking-chevrolet-bolt-evs/

    • General Motors ATTENTION…..asked Bolt owners to park “at least 50 feet” from other vehicles due to battery fire risks….how can you do that at public fast chargers?….6 feet away…lol………who would buy a defective, dangerous piece of crap like that?……

    • Battery lifespan

      The range is bad when new….after 7 years the batteries have degraded a lot….so the EV is getting really useless……..users are saying the batteries should be replaced every 7 years………..

  2. I sorry Eric but I can’t stand the fact Ford would desecrate the Mustang by calling this monstrosity a Mustang. Maybe it should be called the Marxtang.

  3. While it is difficult to find negative articles on electric cars in the mass media, I find many such articles at conservative websites. i publish links to the best of those articles on my climate science and energy blog (over 350,000 page views so far)

    I found such an article today (12/17/22):

    “Liberals Who Ditch Tesla Should Be Aware
    Of ‘Winter Range Anxiety’ Among Other EV”

    https://www.zerohedge.com/markets/liberals-who-ditch-tesla-should-be-aware-winter-ev-range-anxiety-among-other-brands

    “For Teslas, cold weather decreased the Model 3 Long Range’s range by -17%, the Model S P100D by -19%, and Model X 75D by -15%. Out of the list, Tesla wasn’t the worst. Some of the worst declines, which many liberals have said they wanted to buy instead of Teslas, include Chevy Bolt by -32%, Ford Mustang Mach-E Premium AWD by -30%, and VW ID.4 -30%.”

  4. One of my cowokers just got a Tesla. She loves it likes the speed of it and makes many excuses about how it is no problem to recharge. They had the 240 charger installed at the house and she also likes to shop while fast charging it. She said there is a self driving feature you can subscribe to turn it on for a long trip that feels really cool. So good for her. I wonder how the fast charging experience will be when a lot more evs are on the road. I have no desire to get any kind of electric vehicle.

  5. Mach e Schmach e

    One of those situations where the customer is always right. If the car buyer rejects electric vehicles, doesn’t want them, then the market will evaporate to a niche entity.

    The EV will be a brick when the lights go out. Electricity is the Achilles’ Heel.

    I bought an EV and now I’m gimped by the range and amount of charge. Oh well, just have to live with it.

    What else can you do when someone else is in charge all of the time?

    Maybe have one to use in a metropolitan setting, but not out in the open country. You might regret it. Have one during the summer months for fun and leisure, no way for a dependable ride.

    Drove an International Harvest grain truck with a 500 bushel steel grain box, was in a field of dry straw, unknowingly parked the truck in some high dry barley straw, the heat from the muffler ignited the straw right now. Luckily, you had a five gallon bucket with a small rug soaked with water, you pull out the rug and beat the daylights out of the fire under the truck. Don’t want to lose a truck during harvest. Devastatingly bad news, you’re to blame and nobody is happy. The reason for the bucket of water and a small rug, they too can prevent fires. At times, it pays to be prepared.

    The outside temperature makes the accumulated snow on the streets act like grease. If you don’t have four-wheel drive, you’ll be spinning your wheels.

    “Homegrown tomatoes, homegrown tomatoes, what’ll life be without homegrown tomatoes. Only two things that money can’t buy, that’s true love and homegrown tomatoes.” – Guy Clark, Homegrown Tomatoes

  6. I would expect that anyone who buys an EV is going to have a 240v plug and charger for it. It would be insane to try to charge one of these on 120v, especially in the winter. I remember a video a guy did last year about how his Tesla LOST range sitting out in the cold plugged into 120v.

  7. It would be useful to include the temperature range when (eventually) driving and charging the Mustang, since EVs are weather dependent, like windmills and solar panels.

    Also, new batteries hold more electricity than old batteries. So a brand-new test car will have a larger range than an old EV. I have read that EV batteries degrade at a rate of -2.3% of maximum capacity per year, but I suspect the source was biased pro-EV. I assume the -2.3% is a best case with no fast charging.

  8. I saw one of those retarded golf carts whir by when I was up in Frederick, MD with my wife. I pointed it out to her. We were both properly underwhelmed by the utter lack of anything remotely cool about it.

    And, per Jim H’s comment below, I have been truly interested in the “MMI” (or whatever they call it) design but I don’t see anyone talking about it on these vehicles. Some people might not realize that, the cooler the “eye candy” on the screen, the more power it consumes.

    You like 3-D maps and cool looking graphics? Maybe lots of integrated features? That shit doesn’t come for free from unicorn farts. CPU/GPU cycles mean power consumption.

    Without knowing anything else, I bet those clunky, old-fashioned, graphics are probably on purpose. 3-D rendering with gradient shading will cost some power!

    And then other things like ambient lighting have been all the rage in the luxury segment past few years. That shit doesn’t come free either. I’m betting that most EVs are going to trim down the features lest the new owners start to quickly come to terms with how impractical it all is.

  9. That dashboard … arrrrghh!

    Looks about as exciting as a blank granite tombstone … or a test pattern on an old black-and-white cathode-ray TeeVeeeee. Definitely not up to the expected ‘cell phone on wheels’ eye candy standard.

    Ol’ Jony Ive, formerly of Apple — who designed actual cell phones — would cry at the clunky square corners, the acres of wasted space, the unbalanced layout with the PRNDL (pronounced ‘pernundle’) crammed into the right margin. These are Microsoft DOS-era graphics … something that Billy Gates with his lawnmower haircut would sign off on.

    Okay, I’ll stop now. Ugly crap like this in a $50,000 appliance (le mot juste, bien sur) just pushes my buttons.

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