You may have heard there's a new Ford Mustang coming. The first all-electric pony car was announced on Sunday night in a flashy presentation in LA hosted by Idris Elba, who apparently used to work on a Ford assembly line in London before he became a big movie star.
Even without all that pomp and circumstance, Ford would actively have to encourage me NOT to buy this car.
I've never owned an electric car before, but my husband has. He had a 2014 Focus Electric. It was a fun little spark of a vehicle, but the range was abysmal. We're talking no more than 70 miles on a sunny, warm day with a full charge. Obviously EV's have made huge strides since then. The new Mustang Mach-E is rated for anywhere from 210-300 miles on a full charge depending on the drive-train and battery size you choose. In other words, this car is about on par with a full-tank gas car.
I'm never one to shy away from gushing over something that strikes my fancy. But I have a history with Mustang that I had to leave behind as I got older and had more responsibility. While the regular Mustang has always been a fun car to drive, it's not very practical. Especially with that ornamental backseat.
I've owned two Mustangs in my life. The very first car I ever bought with my own money was a 2000 blue Ford Mustang V6. For that point in my life, it was everything. It was a fast car without being over the top like a GT (which I couldn't afford), gave great looks on the road, and was basically the Bugatti On A Budget in East Baltimore. I don't say that in a bad way, but rather to exemplify that it was quite the status symbol to have a Mustang in my old neighborhood. It immediately gave a certain cache. Some people might call it the Redneck Cadillac, but I refute that opinion strongly. It's Americana.
That very first car I ever bought was also the very first car I ever wrecked. On a late-night drive home, mere seconds from pulling into my apartment complex, I dozed at a red light and crashed into a parked car. Thankfully, I was the only person involved in the crash and the other car (a pick-up truck) was barely dented... but sadly, my 2000 Mustang didn't make it. It was totaled.
I took the insurance money that I received (thank goodness for great insurance!) and put it towards the purchase of a slightly used 2003 Mustang that was nearly the same in every way. I was a Mustang guy. It's what we do.
Correction - I *AM* a Mustang guy.
My dad worked for a Ford dealer as a body & fender mechanic in Baltimore for most of his entire life. Over 30 years. Like Idris Elba said at the LA Auto Show debut of the Mustang Mach-E, "it's in my blood." After I reached a point in life where the Mustang was getting too expensive on gas and I was commuting further for work, it was time to trade it in. I never left the Ford stable, however. I bought a 2006 Ford Fusion, the first year that vehicle was available. I loved it so much, I upgraded to the new body style that debuted for the 2010 model year. It was a solid car...and sensible!
Ford has also been one of the most supportive car companies of the LGBTQ community, an obviously important thing to me. Ford was even one of the very first companies to throw their support behind their LGBTQ employees with their own global employee resource group called "GLOBE", celebrating 25 years of equality.
After a while, I was looking for something more 'fun' and larger... that eventually landed me in a 2012 Ford Escape (the boxy one that I loved) and then as that car exited warranty and I was still able to make money on the trade-in, I upgraded to a 2017 Ford Escape (the curvy model I am less in love with). I didn't realize that this Escape could be a primer for me to get right back into the Mustang fold.
Ford has not been quiet about the waves they plan on making in the EV market...and they've stampeded out of the gate with the Mustang Mach-E. For many Mustang fans, this car is an aberration of everything that a "muscle car" is supposed to be. But for a quite large segment of the population in which I find myself, this is our chance to get back into the car we fell in love with.
The styling is clearly Mustang-inspired, but also Escape-inspired. If you look at them side by side, you can see many similarities. Sure, this new EV could have just been branded in the Escape line... but I think that would have caused much less of a reaction. The Mustang name carries a lot of weight. Throaty engines, lots of torque, invoked feelings of freedom of the American open road.
The Mustang Mach-E matches all of those feelings far more than it would having been branded anything else. Ford knew this would be a polarizing decision, but today's Ford is bold and they're making bold choices. Is it expensive? Oh yeah, you betcha. However, like the Mustang was always a sportscar for the every-person, that continues with the Mach-E. It just doesn't get that love in blogs because people are so quick to rush to the most expensive high-end of the price spectrum.
The Mustang Mach-E starts nicely equipped in the mid-40's, but with the $7,500 Federal tax credit, that drops into the mid-30's for most. That's affordable for a car you'll NEVER have to buy gas for again. In fact, there's very little maintenance required on an EV. For example, there's no oil to change. The Focus Electric my husband owned was the most maintenance free I've ever experienced.
Also, not to get preachy, but can we accurately put a price on the future of our environment? This car is going to go a long way to bring new people into the EV fold...and that's never a bad thing. Hell, the very first cars ever created were electric! Imagine where we'd be today if electric had won over the messy internal-combustion engine back then. Yup, even then, oil cartels were strong. But let's face it, we now know the impacts that's had on our climate and it's time to be responsible.
I guess you could say, I've grown out and now up into a new breed of Mustang. The Mach-E is up for reservations now so you can be among the first to own one when it races out of the gate in late 2020. I may have already reserved a First Edition. This would be the very first 'grown up' car I've ever bought... but not *too* grown-up. After all, I'm a Mustang guy.