An Electric Mustang!
Greg and Barb Whitchurch
Ahh, the Ford Mustang. A roar from the engine, belching exhaust, spinning tires, clouds of smoke, gasps of fear and excitement from the crowd, the smell of burning rubber and fossil fuels. It’s all so old school now that the new Ford Mustang Mach-E is due out late this year. It will leave those earlier incarnations in the dust?
No roaring, no smoke, no spinning tires, but man, will it move! As with other electric vehicles (EV) conversions, you can count on improved balance, cornering, traction, control, acceleration, yet also increased safety and economy. And no pollution to threaten the astonished crowd. Yup, Ford has decided to move on from the torque, power and acceleration limitations inherent in the internal combustion engine (ICE) design.
Although the first edition is already sold out, Ford is taking reservations for other configurations at bit.do/mach-e. The Mach-E, which is a SUV, starts out at about $44,000, but Ford estimates the savings alone from owning an EV are $14,120 over five years of ownership (an average of almost $3,000 per year), which compares favorably with a $30,000 ICE car.
This figure reflects both the reduced maintenance and fuel costs, plus the federal incentives. There are often state and utility incentives as well. (Vermont’s utilities kick in several thousand dollars more, plus many businesses and other organizations contribute toward these purchases for their employees.) See pages 14 and 15 in this issue for incentive information.
Bob McCullen, General Sales Manager at Grappone Ford (who has placed his own reservation), says that the FordPass phone app, which also acts as a key to the car, will assure that a driver is never too far away from a charger. But efforts such as the West Coast Green Highway, which is placing EV charging stations every 50 miles from British Columbia to Baja, California (bit.do/wcgh), are quickly assuaging anxieties about available charging.
As the pace of charger installation accelerates worldwide, New Hampshire is hard at work building out their EV charging capacity(bit.do/nh-ev-corridors); Vermont currently has 234 public charging stations (https://www.driveelectricvt.com/). Interestingly, although more and more workplaces and shopping areas are installing them, about 80% of EV charging in the U.S. is actually accomplished at the owners’ homes. Level 1 charging is simply the grounded 120 VAC 20-amp socket already in your garage, which gives about five miles of range for each hour of charge. Level 2 is a dryer-type 240 VAC 30 amp (or more) socket, which will supply 10 to 60 miles/hour. Level 3 is “fast DC,” which requires a very large and expensive installation often found at Hannaford’s throughout New England, and some convenience stores and supplies 40 to 50 miles in just 10 minutes. PlugShare.com will show all levels everywhere in North America.
Back to the Mach-E. The folks at Grappone Ford made this little teaser: bit.do/grappone-mach-e. There are other informative Mach-E videos on YouTube. The extended range rear-wheel drive Mach-E is targeted for 300 miles; the extended range all-wheel drive should be 270 miles. The tricked-out GT model, with options including 459 hp, will do 0 to 60 in the mid-three seconds range — 255 hp is standard on the base model. (My LEAF has 107 hp and my Kia has 201 hp and, given their instantaneous torque, both veritably LEAP out of entrance ramps onto the highways!)
Grappone Automotive Group itself is an Italian immigrants’ success story. The fourth-generation owner of the business, Amanda Grappone Osmer, has leveraged her position to become deeply involved with local and state-wide community support programs (bit.do/nh-rfw and DeweySchool.net/, and bit.do/grappone-comm, among many others), including employee support and development. The business has also provided important support to Green Energy Times. One example from several years back represents a forward-looking climate change response that would qualify as quite ambitious, even by today’s standards; bit.do/grappone-remodel describes a showroom and office whole-building remodel of amazing scope and foresight.
The Mustang Mach-E is Ford’s entry into the American EV marketplace. They’ve chosen the model that they think will best show off the advantages of the EV drivetrain, while satisfying Americans’ desire for the SUV form.
Barb and Greg Whitchurch have two EVs and live in a passive house in Middlesex, VT – bit.do/phc-li-vgbn.