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

Ford's new hybrid police car

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.

Ford Motor Co. has unveiled the world's first "pursuit-rated" hybrid police Vehicle and says the Los Angeles Police Department will be among the first agencies to have one.

Ford says it has a 63-percent share of the market for police vehicles in the USA and suggests that police departments could save nearly $3,900 a year in fuel costs with its hybrid pursuit vehicle.

The cruiser will average 38 miles per gallon in combined city and highway driving, more than twice what the current Police Interceptor model gets with a 3.7-liter V-6 engine.

Ford estimates police forces will save more than £2,000 on fuel for every auto over a year, which would translate into savings of millions of pounds for forces with fleets of more than a thousand cruisers.

To turn a Fusion Hybrid into a Police Responder Hybrid Sedan, Ford calibrates the hybrid control software for the unique duty cycles of law-enforcement use.

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.

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The automaker is spending $4.5 billion on its ambitious plan to electrify its lineup, even as President Donald Trump is considering easing fuel-economy regulations and consumers continue to give a cold shoulder to green vehicles. The gas engine will shut off at idle with the battery handling the electrical load for flashers, radios and other items.

Today, Ford announced the second of the 13, which turns out to be a ruggedized version of its Ford Fusion Hybrid mid-size sedan that's been adapted for heavy-duty police use.

The Ford Police Responder Hybrid Sedan will be officially launched today in NY and Los Angeles. It will compete with all gas police cars such as Dodge's Challenger Pursuit (made by Fiat Chrysler (FCAU) ) and Chevy's Caprice PPV (manufactured by General Motors (GM) ). LAPD units could be driving them by late 2018. "Internally, you'll be surprised at how comparable they are", he said.