Given Ford’s dominant position in the police vehicle market, it’s no surprise that the first hybrid police vehicle is coming from Dearborn. Based on the Ford Fusion Hybrid, the new Ford Police Responder Hybrid, which will be unveiled at the 2017 New York auto show, promises a combined EPA rating of 38 mpg and can run in battery-only mode at speeds up to 60 mph.
Ford expects the Police Responder Hybrid to be is the first hybrid to receive pursuit certification and believes it will save departments $3,877 per car in fuel costs per year based on a fuel cost of $2.50 per gallon versus a traditional police car — presumably, a Taurus-based Police Interceptor. The police duty cycle, which includes lots of idling and stop-and-go driving, is well-suited for a hybrid powertrain, so these savings should not be terribly exaggerated. The use of hybrid vehicles for police duties will reduce emissions as well, which will be seen positively by environmentally conscious city leaders.
“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, Los Angeles Police Department Chief, in a statement in Ford’s release.
Powering the Police Responder Hybrid is a 2.0-liter Atkinson cycle four-cylinder mated to an electric motor. In the Fusion Hybrid, which is rated at 42 mpg combined, the engine makes 141 hp and 129 lb-ft of torque and combined system power is 188 hp.
Ford will begin taking orders for the Police Responder Hybrid later this spring and deliveries will begin next summer.
Additionally, Ford promises to launch another hybrid police vehicle in the near future as part of its $4.5 billion investment in electric and hybrid vehicles.