New York City aims to be a carbon-neutral metropolis by 2050, and as part of that goal, the city wants to make its fleet of vehicles all-electric by 2035. The sanitation department has tried to use an electric garbage truck. For example, the city announced late last year that it was ordering 184 new Ford Mustang Mach-e GT electric crossovers for its police force and other city divisions. On April 15, the NYPD unveiled one of them at the Javits Center at the New York International Auto Show.
New EV chargers are being installed in Princet around the city and cars will be rolling out this summer. The city has approved the acquisition of an additional 250 Tesla Model 3 police vehicles, although that order has not yet been implemented.
Electric vehicles are a boon from an environmental point of view, and may be suitable for a police department: a patrol car spends many hours a day lazily with the engine running, the tailpipe doing nothing but emitting greenhouse gases. By initiating the conversion of patrol vehicles into electric fleets, NYPD can reduce the carbon emissions that are emitted over cities.
Ford has traditionally been the king of police cars, making thousands of them over the years in the form of Crown Victorias. Blue Oval submitted its Mach-E electric crossover to Michigan State Police for approval last September and it passed its test, becoming the first battery electric vehicle to do so. It was marked above average during that test. It was praised for its trunk accessibility, but also for the dock point and engine compartment accessibility flaws for dashboard accessibility. (The latter is probably harder to grade, as the Mustang Mach-E does not have an engine or an engine bogie to access.)
Although the Mac-E GT ranks highest among potential police vehicles for acceleration and braking, it does present a few flaws. As part of a test certified by Michigan State Police, the vehicle was lapped on a race track and tested for sustainable high-speed where it was ranked significantly worse than an existing patrol vehicle. Officials frequently rated it bad for features such as HVAC control, rear seat access and instrument readability. (Meanwhile, trying to electrify some LAPD Cop cars with BMW i3s did not go well.)
[Related: The USPS just doubled its EV order, but experts say it’s not enough]
At the time of the test, Ford was optimistic about the future of his professional-grade electric police car. Ted Canis, CEO of Automaker, said, “The Mustang Mach-e has successfully resisted the Michigan State Police evaluation, proving that Ford can build electric vehicles capable, tough and reliable enough for even the most challenging tasks.” Commercial Division, Ford Pro.
For police duty, the Mach-E GT police interceptor as a department is fitted with several components. Shown at the Javits Center this month. The first of these changes is the addition of a roof flashing light system, and the NYPD’s message board, which allows an officer to display information to drivers passing through the back of the roof light pod. Doors and windows have been replaced with ballistic materials, and the standard panoramic glass roof panel of the Mach-E GT has been replaced with steel.
[Related: Ford added more power to its electric Mustang Mach-E. Here’s how it drives.]
The Mach-E GT is a fairly fast machine compared to ordinary NYPD vehicles. Ford claims that the crossover produces 480 horsepower and 600 pound-feet of torque from a pair of electric motors at each end of the vehicle. That’s enough to push a 0-60 to 5,001-pound car in just 3.5 seconds. It will run a quarter mile in 12.7 seconds, which is fast, but relatively slow compared to other electric crossovers in its class. By comparison, a Tesla Model Y performance can blitz the drag strip in 11.9 seconds. The Mach-E GT’s 88 kWh battery pack is rated for a range of 270 miles, although the range can be dramatically reduced at high speeds or cold temperatures, for example.
All these electric machines are not cheap. The Ford Mustang Mach-E GT starts at $ 66,000 without any options. Some estimates cost a car in the $ 40,000 range to match police vehicle standards. That could cost more than $ 100,000 per car purchased, with Ford’s NYPD order likely exceeding $ 18 million.
Electric vehicles, on the other hand, do not wear and tear like gasoline-powered vehicles and do not require regular service such as oil changes and brakes are long lasting. Of course these patrol vehicles will require occasional inspections and new tires, but in the long run electric patrol vehicles can save the municipality fuel and service costs. Some police stores that have already converted to electric fleet have reportedly saved thousands of dollars annually.