Ford Debuts Pursuit-Rated Hybrid Police Car

Ford Motor Co. is making the first hybrid sedan with full pursuit capabilities available to law enforcement agencies.

Ford designed the Police Responder Hybrid Sedan for police departments to cut fuel costs and decrease emissions while driving and idling. The Detroit automaker received an EPA-estimated mpg of 38 combined city and highway, which is slightly more than double that of the Ford Police Interceptor with its 3.7-liter, V6 engine and 18 mpg combined EPA rating.

With police cars typically being driven about 20,000 miles a year with 9.8 hours of idle time during two eight-hours shifts each day, law enforcement agencies will be able to achieve about $3,900 per year in fuel savings, the company said. During idle time, the sedan’s lithium-ion battery helps power the energy-intensive electric loads typical in police cars where officers are using radio communication systems. Ford said that adds an estimated 0.27 gallons of fuel per hour.

The hybrid police car was designed to meet certification standards law enforcement agencies require to meet their full pursuit ratings. The automaker factored in various scenarios during police pursuits like long trips at varying speeds and having to make it through obstacles like curbs and flooded intersections.

Ford says it has the biggest share of police vehicle annual sales in the U.S., with 63 percent market share. That’s been coming through Ford’s Taurus-based Police Interceptor, available with a turbocharged V6 engine. Ford didn’t reveal the car that the Police Responder Hybrid Sedan will be built on, but it appears to be the Ford Fusion Hybrid, according to the Chicago Tribune.

While not as fast as a Police Interceptor, the Police Responder Hybrid Sedan has been designed to run at peak performance with the powertrain automatically switching between the efficient Atkinson-cycle 2.0-liter engine combined with an electric motor powered by an advanced lithium-ion battery. Ford said it was crafted to work at peak acceleration levels needed in police cars. The hybrid system can run in battery-only mode up to 60 mph.

You can get a feel for how the Police Responder will handle in typical city driving scenarios in this Ford video:

The Los Angeles Police Department and New York City Police Department have placed orders for the new hybrid police cars.

“Our mission to create safe and healthy communities in Los Angeles is achieved through sustainable approaches in community policing, and that includes embracing new technologies,” said Charlie Beck, chief of the LAPD. “Patrol vehicles are a police officer’s office, and we expect them to not only be economically and environmentally efficient, but also an effective tool for fighting crime in major metropolitan areas.”

Law enforcement agencies can place their orders this spring, with nationwide deliveries scheduled to start in summer.

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The automaker reiterated that the Police Responder Hybrid Sedan is part of the company’s mission to electrify its fleet. Other vehicles in the product pipeline include an all-electric small SUV rolling out in 2020 that Ford pledges will be getting an EPA-estimate range of at least 300 miles; self-driving hybrid vehicles aimed at commercial mobility services; a hybrid version of its top selling F-150 pickup in 2020; a hybrid variation of the Mustang; and a plug-in hybrid Transit Custom van available in Europe in 2019.


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