Cops chasing down criminals across Los Angeles may soon be riding a hybrid police Sedan from Ford, as the company has just unveiled the world's first "pursuit-rated" hybrid cop car, adding that the Los Angeles Police Department is among the first agencies to acquire one.
Ford Unveils Hybrid Cop Cars
Ford sells more police cars in the United States than any auto company, and its new hybrid, the Ford Police Responder Hybrid Sedan, will expand its presence on the road soon. The new hybrid cop car has an Atkinson-cycle 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine and a 1.4-kilowatt lithium-ion battery, and is expected to blaze 38 miles per gallon of gas in city-highway drives, which makes it 20 miles per gallon more than its current cop car, the Ford Taurus, or the Police Interceptor Sedan.
While the new hybrid cars aren't as fast as the old Taurus, Ford says that it expects they're quick enough to earn a pursuit rating come time they're tested later this year by the Michigan State Police and Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department. It will be the first hybrid car to acquire such an honor.
Cars can only get a pursuit rating if they render great performance results in aspects such as acceleration, handling, braking, top speed, and ergonomics.
Hold the throttle for five seconds and the hybrid car will launch its pursuit mode, leveraging both the electric motor and the gas engine for a combined performance boost, Ford said, adding that the cop cars will be durable for tough police duties.
Ford has yet to reveal specifications of the new cars, but Arie Groeneveld, of Ford's police programs department, says that it can go from zero to 60 mph in just 5.8 seconds. Pricing has also yet to be disclosed, but hybrid cars traditionally cost more than other cars. But Ford executives say that fuel savings will offset the added price point in just a year.
The company also expects the hybrid car to perform well.
"Cities have been asking us for solutions to reduce carbon emissions and costs, and agencies have been asking for greener police cars and greener pursuit vehicles," said Kevin Koswick, Ford's director of lease and remarketing operations in North America. "We saw a need and we thought we could fulfill it."
Hybrid Car Production Starts 2018, Hitting The Road Later That Year
The hybrid cars will begin production next year, and LAPD units could be using the cars at the latter half of that year. Police representatives, however, was laconic as to how much the department will invest in the new hybrid cars.
But there's no question about its usefulness for police patrolling streets or chasing criminals. More than any other cars, those used by the police need better fuel economy and lower emissions, especially since they are used in very tough situations. Their engines are rarely shut off over an entire shift, for instance, as the car's emergency lights, radio, computer, and electronics need constant power during police-related activities.
Numerous hours of idling is tough on engines, of course, and they burn a lot of fuel. For this, the new hybrid cars can leverage its lithium-ion battery instead of the car's engine, saving fuel costs and reducing emissions. In fact, the car's battery-only mode can go up to 60 mph, without the need of the engine.
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