The days of the Ford Crown Victoria dominating police fleets have come and gone, and the age of the Explorer-based Interceptor Utility and F-150 Police Responder truck is here now, but what about tomorrow? Ford has evidently been wondering about this, too, because it’s planning on submitting its all-electric Mustang Mach-E to the Michigan State Police’s annual Model Year Police Evaluation.
Slated to be held September 18 and 20, the Michigan State Police 2022 Model Year Police Evaluation features a series of rigorous tests to determine whether this zero-emissions vehicle can stand up to the demands of law-enforcement duty. These tests aren’t just important within Ford’s home state, they set the tone for municipalities looking to purchase new law-enforcement vehicles nationwide. And this battery of tests will likely be especially difficult for an EV to complete successfully, especially given the brutal duty cycles that police vehicles are expected to shrug off in service.
In addition to “cop motors, cop tires, cop suspension, cop shocks,” cop cars also require a ton of added electronic equipment that needs to be fitted to a base vehicle. This equipment includes lights and sirens, but also PA systems and whatever the real version of SCMODs are. This is a challenge in standard cars, but in an EV, this upfitting challenge figures to be taken to a whole new level. And while Ford is officially classifying this particular Mach-E tester as a “pilot vehicle,” Ford has already released a “Police Modifier Bulletin,” a document designed to instruct local police agencies about which Mach-E trim levels to consider for their patrols. It also includes helpful details like how to navigate the SUV’s complicated electrical system. Interesting, the same bulletin makes suggestions for both the newer high-performance Mach-E GT (pictured here in blue), as well as standard models.
Ford’s push to get the Mach-E into service with police departments is just part of its more than $30-billion investment in electrification, which includes plans to offer purpose-built EVs for law enforcement. The Blue Oval’s aims are international, too, judging by the company’s recent similar announcement out of the UK earlier this month.
Ford isn’t putting all of its cop eggs in the EV basket, of course. The automaker is once again planning to submit its F-150 Police Responder to Michigan State Police’s battery of tests, along with no fewer than three versions of its Explorer-SUV-based model, all in hopes that they’ll measure up and be bought by police forces around the country.