Ford debuted its latest Explorer crossover/SUV at the Detroit Auto Show earlier this year– and, while a big SUV isn’t something we normally get all that excited about here at
Gas2 Enrg.io, this one was a little different. What made it slightly different from what we were used to was Ford’s commitment to using recycled and recyclable materials throughout the vehicle. What made it really different, though, was that this new Explorer was available in a hybrid version … a hybrid version packing more than 300 HP. We weren’t the only ones to notice that, either!
Local police departments from California to New England are snapping up the new hybrid police cars (both the Ford Explorer and and Ford Fusion-based Interceptor Hybrid models) in a bid to both reduce their departments’ carbon footprint and fuel costs. So far, most of the departments seem to have been impressed with what they’ve seen. “I drove the new Police Interceptor Utility and was impressed,” reports George Yamanaka, Los Angeles Police Department fleet manager. “It’s great – a hybrid utility vehicle that doesn’t sacrifice performance.”
Before you guys jam down to the comments and start blasting me that a hybrid isn’t as good as an EV, keep in mind that hybrid cars offer considerably more carbon reduction per battery than EVs, and that we’re not talking about a hypothetical or impractical fuel savings, either. How big are the fuel savings, then? Analysts are predicting a full 41% improvement in fuel economy over the outgoing Police Interceptor Utility equipped with a conventional 3.7-liter gas engine. Other projections indicate that “going hybrid” could help police departments save between $3,500 and $5,700 annually in fuel costs versus the current Police Interceptor Utility– and that’s per vehicle!
What do you think of the new hybrid police cars? Do you think a 40% fuel savings is enough to be worth getting excited about, or were you hoping for something more Tesla-y or Nissan LEAF-y from your local police department? Check out the official Ford press release, below, then let us know what you think of these electrified coppers in the comments section at the bottom of the page.
Police Agencies Line Up for Potential Fuel Savings with All-New Pursuit-Rated Ford Police Interceptor Utility Hybrid
DEARBORN, Mich. — Already America’s best-selling police vehicle, the Ford Police Interceptor Utility is capturing the attention of law enforcement agencies for an all-new reason – the 2020 model is the first-ever pursuit-rated police utility vehicle with a standard hybrid engine.
From New England to Southern California, orders for the Ford Police Interceptor Utility Hybrid are piling up. Agencies in cities such as San Diego (California), Columbus, Ohio, and Madison, Wisconsin, have committed to adding hybrids to their law enforcement fleets. So far, these agencies have ordered more than 2,600 units equipped with the standard 3.3-liter hybrid engine.
These commitments represent more than 17 percent of the 15,000-plus orders for the 2020 Police Interceptor Utility. Conventional gas engine options include a 3.0-liter EcoBoost® V6 and a 3.3-liter V6 with flex fuel capability.
Many agencies continue to evaluate their vehicle needs and will place orders later in the year. A few, such as the Los Angeles Police Department, tested the new hybrid in advance, and have already placed orders.
“I drove the new Police Interceptor Utility and was impressed,” said George Yamanaka, Los Angeles Police Department fleet manager. “It’s great – a hybrid utility vehicle that doesn’t sacrifice performance.”
As part of an ongoing effort to convert its full patrol fleet to hybrid power, the department has ordered 39 2020 Police Interceptor Utility Hybrids to date, according to Yamanaka. He said the arrival of the 2020 Police Interceptor Utility Hybrid gives law enforcement an option that until now didn’t exist – a pursuit-rated hybrid SUV.
While actual mileage will vary, the all-new 2020 Police Interceptor Utility Hybrid has an EPA-estimated rating of 23 mpg city/24 mpg highway/24 mpg combined – a 41 percent improvement over the current Police Interceptor Utility equipped with a conventional 3.7-liter gas engine. Projections indicate the powerful hybrid could help police departments save between $3,500 and $5,700 per vehicle annually in fuel costs versus the current Police Interceptor Utility*.
Applying those projected numbers to every Police Interceptor Utility sold in 2018 would equate to an estimated savings of more than 43 million gallons of fuel and an estimated annual cost savings of between $118 million and $193 million*.
Everyone wins – except the bad guys!
Hybrid technology is ideal for law enforcement because of the potentially significant idle-time fuel savings. When police vehicles are stationary, a conventional gasoline engine must run continuously to power emergency lighting, radios, computers and other on-board electrical equipment.
The hybrid powertrain of the Police Interceptor Utility allows the engine to shut off for extended periods, powering electrical equipment via its lithium-ion battery and helping achieve significant reductions in fuel usage and CO2 emissions over the previous generation Police Interceptor Utility.
“Our Police Interceptor Utility’s standard hybrid powertrain provides the potential for significant fuel savings with improved performance and no tradeoffs in safety or cargo space,” said Stephen Tyler, Ford police brand marketing manager. “It’s a win-win-win formula for law enforcement.”
In testing by the Michigan State Police in 2018, the all-new Police Interceptor Utility Hybrid had the fastest 0-100 mph acceleration, fastest lap, fastest average lap and highest top speed of 137 mph versus competitive police utility vehicles, including V8-powered entries. The only faster entry was the Ford Police Interceptor Utility powered by a 3.0-liter EcoBoost engine.
And in Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department testing, the all-new Police Interceptor Utility Hybrid bested the outgoing 3.7-liter-equipped model in 0-60 mph by 1.1 seconds and in the 0-100 mph run by 4.7 seconds. It also turned a fastest lap time that was 2.4 seconds better than the 3.7-liter and fastest average lap time that was 1.7 seconds better.
The all-new Police Interceptor Utility includes a number of advanced innovations designed for officer safety. It is engineered to meet Ford’s rigorous 75-mph rear-impact crash test. The federal standard for such testing is 50 mph.
New for 2020, factory-installed Police Perimeter Alert uses sensors to monitor an approximately 270-degree area around the vehicle. It analyzes movement up to 80 feet away for potentially threatening behavior. When such motion is detected, the system automatically turns on the rear camera, sounds a chime, rolls up the windows and locks the doors. Motion trails on the digital instrument cluster help officers monitor their surroundings.
Ford equips its all-new Police Interceptor Utility and Police Responder Hybrid Sedan with a Ford modem and two years of complimentary Ford Telematics™ service that enables timely feedback of vehicle usage and location to fleet managers. Available driver-assist technology includes Pre-Collision Assist with Automatic Emergency Braking, which features Pedestrian Detection and Forward Collision Warning. A unique disable switch allows officers to temporarily override the system to perform precision immobilization technique maneuvers when necessary.
Additional optional equipment includes an on-demand rear camera that allows officers to view behind the vehicle at the touch of a button. A host of factory-installed and factory-sealed wiring and lighting packages offer agencies turnkey solutions.
Police Interceptor Utility is tested for enhanced police durability. This includes improved cooling systems, a specially tuned braking system, front-door tethers, and police-purposed steel wheels, tires and hubcaps that are designed to withstand the rigors of a chase. The vehicle is tested for eight-inch curb impact, median crossing, 30-mph railroad crossing, and water fording up to 18 inches at 15 mph and 10 inches at 40 mph.
Purpose-built at Chicago Assembly Plant, Police Interceptor Utility includes heavy-duty cloth front seats with reduced bolsters for comfort and easy entry and exit for officers. Vinyl rear seats and vinyl flooring enable easy cleaning, and anti-stab plates in the rear of the front seatbacks help protect officers from potential threats.
Police Interceptor Utility is the top-selling police vehicle based on IHS Markit new vehicle registration data limited to government entities and POL and SSV trim vehicles for full-year 2018.
* (Projected savings) computed using fuel costs of $2.75 to $4.50 per gallon and an average of 20,000 miles driven annually. Visit the Police Interceptor Utility savings estimator for more information.
Source | Images: Ford.