FORD has charged into the capital to launch its Mustang Mach-E electric vehicle in Europe - and issued a stern warning to the Government that much more needs to be done to hit the 2035 zero emission deadline.
Choosing London as the venue to kick off its Go Electric roadshow, the company set out its stall to introduce a raft of electrified models in the next few years.
First up on its all-electric initiative is the Mustang Mach-E - a battery powered SUV with rapid charging times and a range of up to 370 miles.
The Mach-E - it's a play on the Mach 1 moniker once given to high performance derivatives of the Mustang muscle car - is pitting itself against the likes of other long range EVs such as those from Tesla and Jaguar.
On that front the Mustang Mach-E is in a good place and its range is the greatest of all electric SUVs at the moment.
That comes from a 99kWh battery pack which is slung below the car's floor while the entry level version has a 75kWh battery which gives it a range of some 280 miles.
Quick recharging times have become a priority for Ford with the Mach-E and an extra 57 miles can be added to its range in just 10 minutes from a fast charger. Up to 80 per cent of battery capacity can be regained in under 40 minutes.
At home - and using a charger supplied by Ford which works five times faster than a conventional domestic supply - the charging rate adds 38 miles per hour.
Those figures are for a rear wheel drive Mach-E fitted with the larger battery but it was a 75kWh model with all-wheel-drive which Ford produced for passenger rides at the Go Electric event.
The car was a prototype and one of 12 in Europe at the moment which are being set up by Ford engineers to handle our driving conditions prior to the release of the Mach-E later in the year.
Entry level cars will be priced from £40,270 while an extra £6,300 adds all-wheel-drive to the Mustang Mach-E. A limited run of high specification First Edition models will also be available priced from £58,000.
In the expensive world of such EVs those prices are keen - a Jaguar I-PACE will set you back more than Â£60,000 and the cheapest Tesla is some Â£43,000 - and Ford is promising a ‘hot' version of the Mach-E in GT specification next year.
On the road, the Mach-E shows itself to be a strong contender and although our drive was only a couple of miles in central London, Ford was able to show the car's performance in a special area set up in a car park.
There the Mach-E managed to accelerate briskly from a standing start to more than 40mph in less than 100 metres - and its sound is eerily quiet from the outside.
Inside, Ford is promising to enhance the noise with a sound generator to create a little more fun true to its ‘Mustang muscle' image but the car we experienced had yet to be fitted with such a device.
The ride is firm and car appears to have all the characteristics of any fast Ford which bodes well and the Mach-E is a proper five-seat SUV with a good amount of passenger room all round.
The instrumentation is true to the high tech feel of EVs of this ilk and there is a 10.2-inch digital instrument cluster instead of conventional dials backed up by a portrait-style 15.5-inch display screen in the centre of the dash which controls most functions such as sat nav, connectivity and air con settings via a touch screen.
A wireless phone charger is below with USB ports and the gear selector is a rotary design within the console.
Measuring some 4.7 metres long, the Mach-E is slightly larger than the I-PACE and has a decent amount of luggage space with a 402 litre boot backed up by a 100 litre ‘frunk' under the bonnet. Drop the rear seats and there's a maximum of 1,420 litres available in the rear.
There are no door handles and the doors are opened via electrical touch points on the pillars while the Mach-E is unlocked via a smartphone.
Nods to its Mustang heritage come with famous pony emblem front and rear and a triple cluster design to the tail lights but other than that the Mach-E is very much an SUV of our time.
Ford says that the Mustang Mach-E has a 0 to 60 acceleration time of around seven seconds and all models are limited to a maximum of 111mph with the 75kWh powertrain developing a total of 255bhp and the higher powered version some 282bhp.
The GT version will have a power output of 458bhp which elicits more ‘real Mustang' figures of 0 to 60 in less than five seconds.
With the electric revolution now inevitable Ford is placing itself well with the Mustang Mach-E but as Stuart Rowley, Ford's president in Europe, says more has to happen to win over the public to make the switch.
At the Go Electric event he called on governments, industries and institutions to support the push for electrification with faster expansion of public charging infrastructures.
"Ford is at the forefront of real change, and we're committed to providing all of our customers with the broadest choice of electrification options," he said. "Infrastructure is critical to helping consumers have the confidence to go electric, but we can't do it on our own.
"Accelerated investment by all the key stakeholders across the UK and Europe is more important than ever."
The Mustang Mach-E is no less than one of 18 electrifiend vehicles Ford will be introducing before the end of 2021 with the others including midl-hbyrid models, fully hybrid cars, plug-in electric vehicles and vans and those will include the likes of the Fiesta, Focus, the new Puma and even the Transit van.