Published: Tue, April 11, 2017
Technology | By Timothy Carter

Ford says hybrid police car catches bad guys, saves gas too

Ford says hybrid police car catches bad guys, saves gas too

Ford Motor Co. has found a way for cops to chase down bad guys in a speeding police cruiser while helping the environment at the same time.

The pursuit-rated Fusions will join adapted police versions of the Hybrid and Energi plug-in hybrid Fusions already in service on the streets of New York City and other cities in non-pursuit roles.

Ford was to unveil the police vehicle Monday with press conferences in NY and Los Angeles.

Under the hood is an Atkinson-cycle, 2.0-liter I4, mated to an electric motor and a lithium-ion battery.

The pursuit-rated Fusion Hybrid is projected to receive an EPA-estimated combined gas mileage of 38 mpg, versus the 42-mpg combined rating for the civilian version on sale today at Ford dealers.

Ford hasn't published specifications on the new vehicle yet, but Arie Groeneveld, of the company's police programs department, said the Responder will accelerate from zero to 60 miles per hour at about the same rate as the Crown Victoria-based Interceptor police vehicle.

"We expect them to not only be economically and environmentally efficient, but also an effective tool for fighting crime in major metropolitan areas". The hybrid's fuel economy is nearly twice is good as that of the non-hybrid Ford Police Interceptor. That's 20 mpg more than Ford's current police vehicle, the Taurus police interceptor. For decades its Crown Victoria dominated highway patrol so much that speeders knew to pull over if they recognized the distinctive grille in their rear-view mirror.

Police cars spend a lot more time on the road than their civilian counterparts.

LAPD officials have not said how numerous vehicles the department will purchase and when they will go into service. When higher speeds are needed, the vehicle's regular engine works in conjunction with the battery motor. Pictured is the Los Angeles unveiling. Because of the huge battery in a hybrid, the Responder should be able keep the car's electronics, radio and emergency lights powered up whether the auto is idling or being driven. After resting, the engine automatically fires up for two minutes to recharge the battery.

When you hear stories about Ford's push into electrification, you might think of trucks or sports cars first. "That's where you get the very significant savings".

Ford has done well with police vehicles. But cops like their cruisers fast and tough, so the idea of a fuel-sipping hybrid chase vehicle raised more than a few questions among police officials.

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