ROCKVILLE, Md. — A Montgomery County viewer spotted a 2021 model Ford Mustang Mach-E driven by a county employee inspecting a sidewalk. He wanted to know why these more expensive models were selected, and reached out to WUSA9 to verify.
So our Verify team took it straight to the experts.
Is Montgomery County spending nearly double on electric cars than other local counties?
Yes, the cars Montgomery County purchased cost twice as much, per electric vehicle, over the price of other EVs purchased by other local counties.
- Montgomery County General Services Department
- Other county governments in Maryland and Virginia
- Auto reviews from Motor Trend and Edmunds
WHAT WE FOUND:
The Verify team looked at purchase orders provided by Montgomery County and found the county paid nearly $47,000 each for nine Mustang Mach-Es.
Then we looked at reviews. Motor Trend says the Mustang Mach-E has “exciting performance” and “muscle car inspired styling.”
Edmunds compliments its “useful cargo space” “sporty handling and acceleration.”
"This particular unit is intended for a highway inspector, a transit inspector, we also have field inspectors with environmental protection and other departments," Montgomery County General Services Director David Dise said about why the car was chosen. "And they are frequently in situations where all-wheel drive is a preferred safety option for them."
Montgomery County is not the first local jurisdiction to purchase electric vehicles.
Arlington has 16 Nissan Leafs and Fairfax uses 24 Nissan Leafs. The Leaf costs an average of $27,000 each, around $20,000 less than the Mustang Mach-E’s.
But Dise said they have a drawback.
"We’re purchasing the Mach-E’s because it’s the only all-wheel drive electric vehicle on the market right now," he said.
That’s true, other than even more expensive Porsche or Audi electric vehicles.
Prince George’s County uses four Chevy Bolts. But Montgomery County, which already has 42 Chevy Bolt EVs in its fleet, found a flaw with these as well.
"Our struggle with the Chevy Bolt is they had electric problems with their batteries," Dise said. "In fact, we actually had a couple of fires – vehicle fires."
Both federal and county numbers confirm that having Montgomery County switch to an all-electric fleet will save taxpayers in the long term, with savings per vehicle coming out to "over $7,000 over six years," according to Dise.
The federal Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy study agrees, saying that while the estimated maintenance costs for a gas-powered car is 10 cents a mile, an electric vehicle costs 6 cents a mile.
Dise added that Montgomery County Police is testing out one of the Mustang Mach-E's right now. It costs a bit more at $51,000. Dise said the force may transition to an all-electric fleet once Ford comes out with an even faster version of its Mustang which is expected in 2025.