Used Ford Mustang Mach-E long-term test: report 12

The Mustang Mach-E is an electric family SUV with a high-tech interior, but what's it like to live with and is it a good car? We're finding out...

Ford Mustang Mach-E driving

The car Ford Mustang Mach-E Standard Range RWD Run by Jim Holder, editorial director

Why it's here Ford’s first mainstream electric car needs to prove it can compete with the very best electric SUVs

Needs to Offer something more than its rivals – Ford is late to the electric party, so it's overdue a landmark EV

Miles covered 17,912 Price when new £42,530 Price when new with all options £42,530 Value on arrival £33,537 Value now £36,368 Test range 198 miles Official range 273 miles

20 December 2022 – the price of keeping warm

It’s well known that electric cars don’t like the cold, but it’s also important to remember that the fact we humans don’t like it either can have a bigger impact on the range of the car.

For the car, the issue is that the battery can take on less charge in cold conditions, usually in the region of 10% of its summer capability. The battery then has to work harder to take you where you want to go, be that because the car has to deal with headwinds or slush on the ground, or even because rainfall necessitates the use of energy-sapping windscreen wipers.

There’s not much you can do about those things, but based on my recent experiences, the impact of warming yourself and your passengers up uses far more energy – and is far more avoidable.

Ford Mustang Mach-E energy use for winter commute

On a frosty day, I’ll climb aboard the Ford Mustang Mach-E , flick on the heated screens, put the blower on full blast, turn on the heated steering wheel and heated seats, the latter typically to full blast to combat the initial chill, which I’ll then forget until my bum is moments from combusting. All this before I’ve even turned a wheel.

That’s a lot of power going into warming the car up, and a lot of potential range lost. Far better to be more organised and pre-condition the car while it’s still plugged into the charger at home. Doing this brings major benefits, the most obvious being that the car starts with 100% power. Psychologically, though, it stops you overdoing in on the heating accessories; the blowers won’t need whacking up, and the heated seats (actually the most energy efficient way of warming an individual) won’t get dialled to 11.

Ford Mustang Mach E side-on driving shot

Hard to believe though it is, the picture above is a real-world example of the implications of not following that advice. This was an everyday school run on busy London roads, when the weather was bad and the driving – and motorists' general awareness – worse. As you can see, more than half of my energy consumption was used by the heaters – only a quarter was spent on actually driving.

Sobering statistics in these energy conflicted times. I might even take to wearing a hat, coat and gloves in the car now I know that, while I can’t control the weather, I can control just how much energy I have to use to combat it.

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