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Ford remains confident in Mustang Mach-E range targets as early EPA figures surface

Early EPA figures from a prototype vehicle before certification give us a look at where the electric SUV will land when it finally goes on sale.

Not everyone will agree with the use of the Mustang nameplate, but on paper, the Mach-E looks mighty promising, no matter what badge is on it.

We're excited to get behind the wheel of Ford's first purpose-built electric car. That's the Mustang Mach-E, if you haven't been paying close attention. The hype behind the newest addition to the Mustang family is real, but early EPA range estimates from a prototype have called into question an official range estimate with the magic number "3."

Estimate documents heading toward certification with the EPA made their way online ahead of time, thanks to a member of the Mach-E forum on Monday. They show the electric car with the Extended Range option attached will go a maximum of 288 miles. That's in rear-wheel drive form, mind you. The all-wheel drive version musters 250 miles. Ford originally aimed for (and still aims for) at least 300 miles with RWD and 270 miles with AWD.

A Ford spokesperson told Roadshow in a statement, "The Mach-E driving range numbers initially reported were for zero emissions vehicle certification and do not represent final EPA-estimated range capability.  When EPA-estimated ratings are released, we expect them to align with the driving range targets we set. We will have more to share later this month." Indeed, the final certification process may reveal a different result and these are not final, published figures. Instead, they reveal the Mustang Mach-E's adjusted range following the SAE J1634 Multi-Cycle Test. The figures seen here do not reflect final numbers that will eventually post on the EPA's website, but they give us an idea of how a prototype vehicle handled the tests.

Ford has pointed to 210 miles for the SUV when equipped with AWD and 230 miles with a RWD layout for the Standard Range model, but it remains to be seen how those will shake out. The EPA has not published any figures for the variant so far and Ford's focused on first bringing the Extended Range to market.

If these figures do hold up, there's one area where Ford may be able to ring in its widely publicized 300-mile range figure, however: the California Route 1 trim. We still don't know how far the Mustang Mach-E California Route 1 trim will go, but Ford has always said the model, which only offers RWD, will be equipped for "max range." It's possible that even though it shares the Extended Range battery and running gear, it squeaks by with a higher final range estimate thanks to other factors. We'll have to wait and see how things pan out.

But, mileage varies with driving style, temperatures and other factors like HVAC usage. Owners may see a range higher than the final estimates. Hell, we beat the EPA's Porsche Taycan estimates easily without even trying once before; maybe we'll do it again in a Mustang Mach-E when we have the pleasure of driving one.

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