Ford Mustang Mach-E Police Cars: Yay or Nay?

Matt Posky
by Matt Posky

Whenever I close my eyes to fantasize about police vehicles, it’s a foregone conclusion that I’m thinking about a Ford Crown Victoria. The model had a two-decade lifespan occupying departmental motor pools as the de facto police cruiser. But it’s been out of action since 2012, leaving a gigantic hole in governmental order forms that allowed other brands to flood into the space. While Ford managed to keep law enforcement interested in its SUVs (and sometimes F-Series pickups), Dodge’s Charger secured the most sedan sales by far.

Ford probably doesn’t want to find itself missing out on the most lucrative corner of the fleet market moving forward, especially as governments begin to embrace electrification. We’ve already seen the manufacturer float a few hybrid options by departments to see what they think. But now it’s ready to see how an all-electric vehicle might play. For the 2022 Model Year Police Evaluations, Ford handed the Mach-E over to Michigan State Police — giving them carte blanche to subject it to multiple days of abuse in order to establish whether or not it’s worthy of active duty.

If you’re a nerd that gets aroused by comparative testing, you’re going to like these evaluations. The Michigan State Police provide a buffet of data points and they’re used by other departments to help decide whether or not they’re interested in throwing departmental funds at specific models.

While the 2022 model year results likely won’t arrive until November, Ford seems more interested in seeing what cops think of the Mach-E than actually hoping to sell them in large quantities. EVs have an extremely limited history with police departments and most of it is kind of sad. The best example of this is probably the glut of BMW i3s purchased by the LAPD. Los Angeles bought roughly 100 units in 2016 and the logic was that the fuel savings would easily offset the $1.4 million it cost the police force to secure them from BMW. But nobody was driving them for official purposes, save for the occasional bout of parking enforcement, making the whole thing giant waste of money.

Considering Ford’s prolonged relationship with American law enforcement, Blue Oval doesn’t want to screw this up and has said that the Mach-E is primarily there to help it “explore purpose-built electric police vehicles in the future.”

Europe is also getting a taste, with Safeguard SVP outfitting some Mach-Es for testing in the United Kingdom. Early testing has given us a sense of how they’ll be equipped. The UK Fords have all been issued extended-range batteries and rear-wheel drive or all-wheel drive. They’re also said to be capable of hitting 100 kph (62 mph) in 3.7 seconds with the added equipment with the top speed remaining limited at 111 mph. Range is allegedly unaffected, thanks to accessories drawing from a separate 12-volt battery. That means 305 miles for rear-drive units, with all-wheel drive models needing a recharge right around 270 miles.

While several EVs have been adapted for police use in Europe, the take rate is substantially lower in the United States. New York City has long used the Toyota Prius (in tandem with the Smart ForTwo) for parking enforcement. But departments have largely avoided pure battery-electric automobiles. Meanwhile, Seattle has been using the Nissan Leaf to read the meters since 2015 and there are a few places you might see a Chevrolet Bolt with red and blue lights on the roof scattered across the nation.

Electric or not, the Mustang Mach-E is a very different machine than the electric and hybrid cars currently employed by American police departments and we’re wondering how it’s gone to compare to the gasoline-powered mainstays. What do you think? Is the Mach-E fit for service or will this ultimately be a learning experience Ford can use to make the F-150 Lightning more palatable to law enforcement?

[Images: Ford Motor Co.]

Matt Posky
Matt Posky

A staunch consumer advocate tracking industry trends and regulation. Before joining TTAC, Matt spent a decade working for marketing and research firms based in NYC. Clients included several of the world’s largest automakers, global tire brands, and aftermarket part suppliers. Dissatisfied with the corporate world and resentful of having to wear suits everyday, he pivoted to writing about cars. Since then, that man has become an ardent supporter of the right-to-repair movement, been interviewed on the auto industry by national radio broadcasts, driven more rental cars than anyone ever should, participated in amateur rallying events, and received the requisite minimum training as sanctioned by the SCCA. Handy with a wrench, Matt grew up surrounded by Detroit auto workers and managed to get a pizza delivery job before he was legally eligible. He later found himself driving box trucks through Manhattan, guaranteeing future sympathy for actual truckers. He continues to conduct research pertaining to the automotive sector as an independent contractor and has since moved back to his native Michigan, closer to where the cars are born. A contrarian, Matt claims to prefer understeer — stating that front and all-wheel drive vehicles cater best to his driving style.

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  • Jeff S Jeff S on Sep 22, 2021

    will be interesting to see the results Michigan has with the Mach E. Might be a surprise to all of us.

  • 28-Cars-Later 28-Cars-Later on Sep 23, 2021

    Uh, fleet doesn't make much money unless your model is a paid off profit center such as Panther, LX, GM800 etc. They must be pretty desperate to get more out there, I imagine Ford is already losing money on every unit at retail, certainly every unit vs total development costs for the model. "ultimately be a learning experience Ford can use to make the F-150 Lightning more palatable to law enforcement?" There may be PPV plans for the F-150 EV, but I doubt this aberration has anything to contribute to them. Either they are desperate to move some metal to make the overall sales numbers look less pathetic or they have too many days inventory sitting unsold/unshipped and are looking for solutions. Once again, I doubt a REAL Mustang EV would be having issues along those lines.

    • See 1 previous
    • 28-Cars-Later 28-Cars-Later on Sep 23, 2021

      @mopar4wd Likely third option, move enough metal because production volumes are not high enough and need to be at a certain level to honor existing discounts/price points for components.

  • ChristianWimmer Yes, but with a carbureted 500cid V8. None of that fuel-injection silliness. 😇
  • VoGhost Fantastic work by Honda design. When I first saw the pictures, I thought "Is that a second gen Acura NSX?"
  • V16 2025 VW GLI...or 2025 Honda Civic SI? Same target audience, similar price points. Both are rays of sun in the gray world of SUV'S.
  • FreedMike Said this before and I'll say it again: I'm not that exercised about this whole "pay for a subscription" thing, as long as the deal's reasonable. And here's how you make it reasonable: offer it a monthly charge. Let's say that adaptive headlights are a $500 option on this vehicle, and the subscription is $15 a month, or $540 over a three year lease. So you try the feature for a month, and if you like it, you keep it; if you don't, then you discontinue it, like a Netflix subscription. In any case, you didn't get charged $500 up front the feature. That's not a bad deal.In my case, let's say VW offers an over the air chip reflash that gives me another 25 hp. The total price of the upgrade is $1,000 (which is what a reflash would cost you in the aftermarket). If they offered me a one time monthly subscription for $50 to try it out, I'd take it. In other words, maybe the news isn't all bad.
  • 2ACL A good car, but - at least in this configuration -not one that should command a premium. Its qualities just aren't as enduring as those of Honda's contemporary sports cars. For better or worse, this is a formula they remain able to replicate.
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