More coverage of the Mach-E

This video and article from Jalopnik has a really good interview of the chief engineer for the Mach-E. It includes some of what I mentioned before about the Mustang name and much about the thought that went into the car. Very much worth a watch and read. (Article courtesy of the Mach-E forums.)

Speaking of good videos; the following one is a really good primer on charging an EV–its been making its rounds on a lot of the EV websites.

More coverage of the Mach-E

What's in a name?

So here is my controversial post about the “Mustang Mach-E”: Many are disappointed Ford decided to put Mustang on the Mach-E. Strangely enough they are more concerned with the fact that it is an SUV/CUV rather than an EV (given that EV’s these days can outperform many ICE vehicles its no surprise).

My take: The use of Mustang is a message to consumers. Ford is saying: “We’re putting our best people on this, like we would a Mustang.” They say it in that “building the Mach-E” video (see below): It has to be worthy of the name (even Bill Ford at the beginning of the video kind of laughs it off “You want to call what a Mustang??”). It is a not so subtle shot across the bow (of Tesla, no less) that Ford will be making a compelling EV; something anyone would want to own…not just the people in the niche market that own’s EV’s because they like EV’s.

What's in a name?

Mach-E in the press

Happy New Year..

Seems like the local newspaper is giving the Mach-E some love.

Reading the article it would seem that some EV related myths are still alive as well. Here is just one example:

“It’ll probably be an evening car, a weekend car. There’s still a little trepidation about taking it on road trips. I’m anxious to see where the charging stations will be. They don’t pinpoint a lot around my area yet; I’m just outside Chicago. But I know I can go back and forth from my house to Blackhawks games because they have charging stations in their parking lot.”

It is very likely that they won’t need the charging stations. Even at 200+ miles of range the smallest battery Mach-E should make that round trip without issue–even in winter (a comparable trip we’ve taken in the Bolt going to downtown Detroit and back in winter without issue).

Mach-E in the press

EV's going mainstream?

This is an interesting question: Are EV’s starting to go mainstream? I’d argue: Yes, yes they are. Simply because we’re now seeing articles such as this one, from USA Today:

The next car you should buy should be electric.

Here we have a mainstream media newspaper advocating for EV’s. Something to ponder. Of course also mentioned in the article are vehicles like Ford’s Mach-E (which I’m also seeing advertisements for during popular TV shows like Sunday NFL football!) which are also trying to go mainstream (you could argue that Tesla’s Model 3 has already gone mainstream with the quantity its selling).

So, dear reader, will you heed the advice? Will your next car be an EV? (Is your current car an EV? a plugin? a hybrid?)

EV's going mainstream?

Lets talk "Range Anxiety"

Or lets talk about the lack of “Range Anxiety”. This is one of the myths of EV ownership. That somehow you won’t be able to get to your destination; the car will leave you stranded. It is a strange myth as an EV has a few gauges to help you figure out if you can get where you want to go–just like any car does: how much “fuel” you have left (1/4, 1/2, full tank, etc.) and many late model cars also have a “distance to empty” indicator (on EV’s this is usually called the “Guess-o-meter” or GOM).

Accompanying this myth is the idea that “I can’t use an EV like I can a normal car. What if I just want to up and go somewhere?” Well lets see: This evening we had that exact thing happen: “Hey we need to do some Christmas shopping and I bet nobody will be at that outlet mall about 40 miles away (in the snow)”. Now Google says the mall is 46 miles away making for a 92 mile round trip, its 33F outside with light flurries and the Bolt’s distance-to-empty or Guess-o-meter is reading 112 miles? Range anxiety?? naah (now the Bolt has already driven through my commute and back in this weather and thus the guess-o-meter is going to be fairly accurate).

What would you do if you were to take a “normal” ICE vehicle on such a trip? Well I know what I usually do: first thing after starting the car is check the gas gauge (and if its anywhere near 1/2 or lower I’d probably stop and fill it up before leaving). How is that different from above?? (“Yeah but you can’t fill the EV up as fast as an ICE??”–no, but there is a fast charger I could have stopped at for 10 or 20 minutes and put a good 30-60 miles onto the Bolt–good enough to get me there.)

So we set off and arrived at the mall with 60 miles showing on the GOM. I already knew there were Chargepoint stations there (free no less) so I plugged in while we shopped. After spending some $$ on stuff and adding 10 miles back into the Bolt we hit the road for the trip home. An uneventful 46 miles later and we pull into our driveway with 35 miles remaining. I had already known that the Bolt would have made it (even without charging there) so no range anxiety at all. Another way to put this is that the Bolt’s GOM can be pretty accurate at times (unlike the Focus Electric’s GOM! LOL).

Charging in the flurries

Speaking of the Focus Electric: I had always wanted to try this trip with it, but at 70 miles total range we would have had to shop for a few hours before making the return trip, and there is no way we would have even been able to make the one way trip in the cold like today. So, yeah, more range = less “anxiety” LOL (although I still contend it doesn’t exist: You look at the gauges and judge for your self before leaving: can I make it? Yes/no.)

Oh yeah: I guess you could consider this a winter driving post…doh!

Lets talk "Range Anxiety"

Cybertruck

For the 2nd time this week I get to say: Well its here:

This is, dare I say it, Tesla’s pickup truck. So another company makes a bold move, although I’d think Ford calling an SUV a Mustang is a bit bolder than this simply because people expect Tesla to make bold moves.

Frankly my very first reaction when I saw it was a bit of a chuckle and then a bit of wow. It really does look like someone drove it straight off the set of a 1970’s Glen A. Larson Sci-Fi production (“Beedeebeedeebeedee Nice Truck Buck!”). Perhaps they were inspired by the Landmaster from Damnation Alley.

(Too bad they didn’t use those cool wheel arrangements!)

Yeah I know Elon Musk has repeatedly tweeted that the inspiration comes from the Lotus from The Spy Who Loved Me (Which he purchased).

As for the Specs it comes in right around your average half-ton truck with its various options (aside from acceleration of course). It can tow between 7,500 and 14,000 lbs given the configuration and the payload is 3,500 lbs which is all in the F-150’s, 1500’s, etc. sweet spot. Even the pricing is well in line with standard pickups (heck the cheapest Cybertruck is around the same prices as the Model 3). Clearly, however, Tesla wasn’t going after your traditional truck buyer. Why should they: The truck segment is the most loyal of any segment in the market. If you bought a Dodge, chances are very high you’ll buy another Dodge. If you bought a Chevy, etc.

Given a pickup’s use that doesn’t look that practical to me with the high sides. When I used to own pickups (have had 4: 2 Rangers, an F-250, and an F-350) I would frequently climb in the bed from the sides either opening a door and stepping up or stepping on the tire (the F-150 has a side step option now, even the Rivian R1T has a step). With the high sides of this guy forget it.

The exterior is stainless steel which means the only proper garagemate for this truck is a Delorean.

I just hope the Cybertruck doesn’t turn into Tesla’s Aztek.

Cybertruck