Yves Racette is a well-known name in the automotive educational training world. He has developed curriculum around electric vehicle maintenance including ADAS and self-driving technologies.
He is a proud Canadian who lives in Montreal, but has travelled all around the world as a trainer for General Motors of Canada. Now he works as a consultant in the U.S. and Canada and provides training on EVs. Since 2019 he has worked for SAE International to produce training on fundamentals of high voltage xEV, safety and PPE.
This isn’t meant to sound like his resume on Indeed but rather to show his impressive background in electric vehicles. Yves is a friend of mine and he recently took ownership of a 2021 Ford Mustang Mach-E. So I was interested to know his take on it, as someone with intimate knowledge and experience on EVs and as an early adapter. Plus I found the Canadian viewpoint on the Mustang Mach-E to be interesting.
Yves agreed to do a question and answer with me and also provided all of these photos.
First question is a simple one, tell me what Mach-E you bought including the battery/range, color, etc.?
Yves: I own a Premium Mach-E with AWD extended Range in Astral white (Exterior) and Black onyx (Interior). It’s the 919th car that was produced. I received the car last week of January 2021.
I was the first guy to look under the car and locate an easter egg on the rear motor that says “electric ponies live here” (pictured below).
What made you choose the Mach-E over another EV, specifically the Tesla?
Yves: On my part, I was always looking for a nice vehicle with the size of the Mach-E that could go from where I live (South shore of Montreal ) to Quebec city (about 2-hour drive from here and approx. 160 miles) and not have to charge the car on the way (at least in the nice times of the years which are March to October). I love the look and size of the car. The main problem with Tesla on my part is that they don’t allow us to connect to the vehicle to be able to diagnose the car with a scan tool (or Laptop). We don’t have any regulation here for the right to repair, so we might be able to do it illegally but that’s not the way that I wish to do so on my own car, and I need to have a car I can work on and be able to do the service on it without any restraint. On top of that, there were so many complaints on the fit and finish of the Tesla, which is a big difference with the Mach-E.
Have you owned a Tesla or any other EVs?
Yves: I had three Chevy Volts, my first one was in 2012, then I got a brand new 2014, and a second-generation in 2018. Before the Mach-E, I had a Hyundai Ioniq EV 2017 and I still own a Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV since 2018.
What has been your experience with the Mach-E so far?
Yves: If I am really honest, in all of the cars I have owned, I had a great experience with the Volt I had, but this car is really a different breed. like the height of the driving position, the seats are comfortable, the power at acceleration that shoots you back in the seats and the technology embedded in that car is really amazing!
Any issues cropped up yet?
Yves: Well I could say at the beginning when you get in the first time it’s a little different than regular cars and a little intimidating at first. There is so much to get used to at once with all the technology but I was lucky enough not to have any issues with mine so far, aside from losing the front protective cap on my front camera washer.
Related story: Tesla Model Y vs. Mustang Mach-E which requires less maintenance?
You mentioned an interesting point about the comfort and quality of the build compared to the Model Y. Tell me what you mean and how you came to that conclusion?
Yves: I heard so much stuff about the Tesla’s fit with all the gap that are uneven, and the paint peeling off, etc. I am always being cautious with all these type of complaints. I will say that without Tesla’s pressure on the automotive world, we might not have seen a Mach-E electric!
Aside from this, the silence of the ride of the Mach-E is really amazing, the quality of the materials with the feel of it and the gaps, are really a notch up from Tesla. We were doing some testing the other day with my wife and our friends that have a Model Y Performance, and the girls are in the back of the Mach-E filming with their phones, at first in the Mach-E and then in the Model Y. My friend's girlfriend says ‘’I think we have a problem with our car it's shaking so much we cannot be stable enough to film in the back!``
This is telling you a lot about the quality of the ride with four adults in the cars!
Related story: Mustang Mach-E already taking market share from Tesla.
What is the charging like for you up in Canada? Is the colder weather inhibiting your range?
Yves: We have so many charging stations in Quebec right now and they are popping up so fast that we are not getting any problems on that side here for now. For the Mach-E, 30 minutes of charge is really great so far I have used it only during cold months. We have charging stations that are charging at over 100Kw, so an easy 30 min to get from 40% charge to 80% charge.
In the cold weather, if you are used to it all OEM’s models (even Tesla) will suffer and limit the range. If it’s your first EV you might be surprised but you need to know exactly what happens, so before buying one it would be better to talk to owners that have experienced it before assuming and taking the word of the sales guy.
This winter in the Mach E I was comparing with my Hyundai Ioniq:
Ioniq at 25c (77°F ) 258 Km range(160 Miles)
Ioniq at -10c (14°F) 178 Km range (110 Miles)
Ioniq at -30c (-22°F) 116km range (72 Miles)
Mustang Mach-E at *22c (71.6°F) 430Km range (267 Miles)
Mustang Mach-E at -10c (14°F) 300 Km range (186 Miles)
Mustang Mach-E at -30c (-22°F) 258 km range (160 Miles)
Did you have any issue with the Mustang name being used on the Mach-E?
Yves: I did not have any issue with the name at all! But I know a guy that started a petition on that and made the news!
What do you think is the future of the EV and where does the Mach-E fit into it? Will it see multiple generations or is this a flash in the pan/transition vehicle leading to something else?
Yves: All the new EVs are getting a lot more autonomous, and there is a good chance that in the future a lot more will be available in the market. Many unconventional OEMs are coming out with new products. Look at Rivian, Lucid, Workhorse as an example these new players are really changing the face of the market as we know it. There will be a big competition, but Ford and General Motors have clearly shown their color for the next generation with their products coming in the next few years. As far as the Mach-E I really believe they will continue and might go on building around the name, and I really wish we will see more generation of this in the future.
As an expert, can you talk about solid state battery technology and how that might play a role in the future of EVs?
Yves: Solid-state batteries are safer, cheaper, and can be used for longer without losing any performance and they are require less raw materials. The future battery might be lighter, reach a full charge in around 10 minutes, and will have higher energy density providing a lot more range (it could double the actual range). Less copper and less aluminum will be needed. Graphite and cobalt could be eliminated. Recycling solid-state batteries are much safer and it’s a simpler process. If we look in history all the new generation technologies starting from an exhaust system to a car computer are using a lot less raw materials and it won’t be different with solid states and future battery technologies.
Some people say that the grid is not capable of handling hundreds of thousands of EVs charging, so what is the future of alternate fuel and/or EVs?
Yves: We will see a lot of cars coming with xEVs in the picture, starting from hybrid, to Plug-in Hybrid to Extended range and fully electric without putting aside the fuel cell cars. I am curious to see how the semis will do in all-electric, as I think that maybe these heavy vehicles might have a brighter future in fuel cell versions especially for the long haul! if there are more fueling stations across their path as they go).
Leave your comments or if you have more questions for Yves, leave them in the comments. Maybe I can send them to him and get more answers or do a follow-up story. Also be sure to check out my colleague John Goreham's story on how the Mach-E's delivery volume is one of the highest in EV automotive history. Also, see how Ford kicks off Mustang Week by snagging another Global title.
Jimmy Dinsmore has been an automotive journalist for more than a decade and been a writer since the high school. His Driver’s Side column features new car reviews and runs in several newspapers throughout the country. He is also co-author of the book “Mustang by Design” and “Ford Trucks: A Unique Look at the Technical History of America’s Most Popular Truck”. Also, Jimmy works in the social media marketing world for a Canadian automotive training aid manufacturing company. Follow Jimmy on Facebook, Twitter, at his special Ford F-150 coverage on Twitter and LinkedIn. You can read the most of Jimmy's stories by searching Torque News Ford for daily Ford vehicle report.