Ford Motor Co.’s decision to enter a Mustang Mach-E in the annual Michigan State Police vehicle trials spotlights the embryonic effort to replace thousands of fossil-fueled patrol cars with zero-emission vehicles.
Ford entered the Mach-E because of interest expressed by police departments, said Greg Ebel, the company’s police brand marketing manager. The Michigan State Police trials held in mid-September, tests and rates vehicles, and is considered the benchmark for police fleet managers shopping for pursuit-rated patrol vehicles.
“We wanted to demonstrate and to prove to agencies that an all-electric vehicle could in fact withstand this police severe-use duty cycle,” Ebel said. “We were pleasantly surprised with the performance.”
The Mach-E fared well in the program, which includes acceleration, braking and handling on a 3.2-kilometre track. But the grueling series of tests sharply diminished range, and Ford is not labelling it a pursuit-rated vehicle.
Ford currently accounts for more than two-thirds of police vehicle sales in Canada, according to the company. Its two offerings are the F-150 Responder and Explorer Interceptor.
Law enforcement agencies are subject to government zero-emission mandates that will end sales of fossil-fueled vehicles. In Canada, that deadline is 2035.
The RCMP, with more than 11,000 vehicles in service and an annual turnover of about 1,500, is committed to achieving a net-zero-emission fleet by 2050, said national headquarters spokeswoman Camille Boily-Lavoie. The police agency is working with other federal departments on a plan to determine the feasibility of EVs for policing, beginning next April and ending in March 2025.
TESLAS ON PATROL
The Peel Regional Police in southern Ontario tested a Tesla for several weeks — not on regular patrol duty — to acquaint officers and get feedback from different units within the department. The department plans an EV pilot program in one of its investigative bureaus, Const. Akhil Mooken said.