POLICE Magazine

APR 2019

Magazine for police and law enforcement

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THIS SUMMER Ford is going to roll out the most innovative police vehicle ever produced, the 2020 Ford Po- lice Interceptor Utility with hybrid powertrain. Based on the 2020 Explorer SUV, the pursuit-rated 2020 PI Utility is not the first purpose-built hybrid patrol vehicle—Ford introduced its Police Responder hybrid sedan in 2017—but it is the first one big enough to accommodate all the gear needed in contempo- rary police operations. And if the 2020 PI Utility hybrid proves as popular with agencies as Ford expects, it's likely to usher in an era of hybrid patrol vehicles for the next decade or so until most law enforcement vehicles become fully electric. Despite widespread acceptance of hybrid gas-electric ve- hicles in the consumer market, the police market is differ- ent. Some officers and agencies are reluctant to give up their gas-powered V-8s for this 21st century engine tech. ese offi- Interceptor Utility hybrid is there are no tradeoffs. You don't lose any interior passenger or cargo room. You also get greater horsepower, torque, and top speed. In addition, you get signifi- cant fuel economy." Stopping Power P erformance for a patrol vehicle or any vehicle is not just about speed. It's about how quickly the vehicle can be stopped. is is extremely critical for a law enforcement vehi- cle, which tends to be driven harder than a consumer vehicle. e new hybrid Ford SUV was also a star in MSP's brake test- ing. In testing where the vehicles were brought to a stop from a speed of 60 mph, the PI Utility hybrid came to a complete rest at 132.4 feet. at was better than any other pursuit-rated SUVs except the Dodge Durango Pursuit 3.6-liter at 128.8 feet and the Ford Police Interceptor Eco- Boost at 131.5 feet. Hybrid vehicles tend to stop so well because they use a regenerative brak- ing system, which means that the electric motor of a hybrid vehicle reverses its spin, slowing the vehicle when the driver applies the brakes. is braking action turns the motor into a generator that helps keep the vehicle's batteries charged. In addition, the vehicle has anti-lock disc brakes with calipers, pads, and rotors. Saving Green O ne of the reasons that hybrid patrol vehicles will become much more common in the next few years is government environmental (green) initiatives. at's a great benefit of hy- brid engine technology. But hybrid patrol vehicles can also be part of another type of green initiative, the type that saves mon- ey for law enforcement agencies. Hybrid vehicles generally cost a little more money at initial purchase. But the economics of running hybrids should more than make up for that initial outlay. Ford says Fuel savings from the 2020 PI Utility are signif- icant. e combined highway and city MPG is 24 compared with 17 for the 2018, a 40% increase in mileage. But increased MPG is not the only way the hybrid PI Utility can save agencies on fuel costs. e real fuel expenditure in law enforcement pa- trol operations is leaving the vehicle running while it's parked at a scene so that it can keep the battery charged to run lights, radios, air conditioning, computers, and other stuff that draws current. e PI Utility hybrid can do that without the engine running. It uses the hybrid batteries and if the charge starts to get low on the batteries it will run the engine just long enough to give them a boost. Ford calculates that the savings over idling a gas engine combined with the MPG increase will save agencies that adopt the PI Utility hybrid $3,500 per vehicle per year. You can go to https://www.ford.com/police-vehicles/police-inter- ceptor/hybrid-utility/calculator/ for more information. e New York City Police Department has been running consumer hybrid cars and SUVs as patrol vehicles for almost 10 years. Deputy Commissioner Robert Martinez who commands the NYPD's vehicle fleet operations believes hybrid power- trains are well suited to law enforcement operations because of the amount of time patrol vehicles spend at idle. "Even out in PHOTO: FORD cers want Ford to prove its hybrid can go fast, stop even faster, and do the job. And their agencies want proof of performance plus economic benefits to offset the additional cost of the hy- brid powertrain. 137 MPH T o prove the 2020 PI Utility hybrid's performance to the po- lice audience, Ford took the new SUV to last September's Michigan State Police evaluations. And it made quite an im- pression. It goes real fast. e hybrid SUV hit 137 mph in the top speed testing. e only pursuit-rated sedans that hit faster top speeds during the test were the Dodge Charger 5.7-liter Hemi at 149 mph and the Dodge Charger 3.6-liter at 141 mph. e only pur- suit-rated SUV that topped the PI Utility hybrid was the Ford 3.0-liter EcoBoost PI Utility at 150 mph. Of course top speed is not the most important performance issue for a patrol vehicle that is going to be driven in environ- ments ranging from major city streets to rural highways. Most agencies are more concerned with the acceleration and closing speed of the vehicle. e PI Utility hybrid, which comes stan- dard with all-wheel drive (AWD), had a 0-60 mph time of 7.27 seconds at the MSP test. at's better than most standard gas- oline engine patrol SUVs. e only patrol-rated SUV that accel- erated quicker in MSP's 0-60 mph testing was Ford's PI Utility 3.0-liter EcoBoost SUV with AWD. EcoBoost engines achieve their impressive performance with turbos and direct injection. e closing speed performance of the PI Utility hybrid as measured by its 0-100 mph time was also impressive at 17.69 seconds. at's not as fast as a Hemi Charger, but it outmatches every pursuit-rated SUV other than that blistering fast 3.0-li- ter PI Utility EcoBoost, which can hit 100 mph from a standing start in just under 14 seconds. ere was a time when hybrid meant great gas mileage but less than stellar performance and not a lot of cargo space. Not anymore, says Steve Tyler, Ford police brand marketing man- ager. "With hybrids people are used to making some kind of tradeoff. e most exciting thing about the 2020 Ford Police Police vehicles with hybrid gas-electric engines will save law enforcement agencies money and cut emissions. More importantly, they can do the job. POLICEMAG.COM 41

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