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

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

DEARBORN, Mich. — The next time the cops chase you down for speeding, they could be driving a fuel-efficient gas-electric hybrid.

Ford Motor Co., which sells more police vehicles in the U.S. than any other automaker, says it will offer a police pursuit version of the hybrid Fusion midsize sedan, in response to requests from cities nationwide. The new car, with its 2-Liter four-cylinder engine and 1.4 kilowatt lithium-ion battery, is expected to get 38 miles per gallon of gas in combined city-highway driving. That’s 20 mpg more than Ford’s current police car, the Taurus police interceptor.

The hybrids won’t be as fast as the Taurus with a 3.7-litre turbocharged V6, but Ford expects it to be quick enough to earn a pursuit rating when tested later this year by the Michigan State Police and Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department, the first hybrid to earn that honour. To get a pursuit rating, cars have to perform well in acceleration, handling, braking, top speed and ergonomics and make the list of cars that the Michigan and Los Angeles agencies would buy.

When the throttle is held down for five seconds, the car will go into pursuit mode, using both the electric motor and the gas engine for maximum performance, Ford said. The company also says the car will be durable for tough police duties.

Police cars spend much of their days idling by the side of a road, and that’s where the hybrid has a true advantage, Ford said. The gas engine will shut off at idle with the battery handling the electrical load for flashers, radios and other items. It will restart to recharge the battery.

Ford said at $2.50 per gallon for gas, the hybrid would save a police department $3,877 per year in fuel costs per vehicle. The price of the hybrid, available in the fall of 2018, isn’t being released just yet.

Ford was to unveil the police car Monday with press conferences in New York and Los Angeles. One already has been outfitted to look like a Los Angeles police cruiser.

While big-city departments might be most interested in the fuel savings, the cars might also be appealing to small departments.

Thomas Korabik, chief of the 10-officer North Muskegon, Michigan, Police Department, said his city spends about $22,000 per year on gasoline for four cruisers and would be interested in cutting that in half.

But he wonders if the Fusion is big enough inside to carry computers, radios and other equipment. Many departments have switched to SUVs to handle the equipment, said Korabik, who also is president of the Michigan Association of Chiefs of Police.

“Anytime you can save money it is good,” he said. “I’d want to see the car first and see how it would hold up.”

Todd Soderquist, Ford’s chief engineer for the Fusion Police Responder, conceded the car is smaller than other cruisers on the outside. “Internally, you’ll be surprised at how comparable they are,” he said.

Tom Krisher And Mike Householder, The Associated Press

Just Posted

UPDATE: Tsunami warning cancelled for coastal British Columbia

Warning issued following 7.9 earthquake off Kodiak, AK

Tsunami warning issued for Coastal B.C.

It is recommended that individuals residing below 20 metres should move to higher ground.

Mediators appointed to help address issues in IHealth review

Review too little, too late for Qualicum Bay patient

Smoking ban arrives on BC Ferries

No crackdown, just education as BC Ferries enacts smoking ban

SOGI rally disrupts school board meeting, but business carries on

Chilliwack school board makes statement in support of B.C.-wide gender identity teaching resource

Testing the Google Arts & Culture app

Going face to face with art

‘Shape of Water’ producer, Christopher Plummer among Canadian Oscar nominees

Guillermo del Toro film about merman romance earns 13 nominations

Canada, TPP agrees to revised deal without the United States

Canada and the remaining members of the Trans-Pacific Partnership have agreed to a revised trade agreement

Tsunami warnings 101: Canada

Here are some things to know about tsunami alerts in Canada and how they work

Rogers Media cuts ties with Vice Canada

Rogers Media and Vice Canada are ending their three-year-old partnership, pulling Viceland TV channel off the air

Tsunami warning prompts evacuations in Port Alberni

Alaska earthquake prompted warning for coastal BC

UPDATE: Police continue to seek missing Qualicum Beach woman

Oceanside RCMP requesting public assistance in locating Carmel Georgina Gilmour

VIDEO: Fuel truck and train collide in B.C. causing massive fire

More emergency crews are still arriving on scene of a massive fire at the Port Coquitlam rail yard.

Most Read