Ford Police Responder Hybrid Sedan

COVER STORY: Ford Police Responder Hybrid Sedan

Ford Reveals Industry’s First Pursuit-Rated Hybrid Police Car

By Police Fleet Manager Staff

 

According to a poll conducted by the Consumer Federation of America, first-time car buyers—including 50 percent of U.S. millennials—say they are interested in purchasing an electric car. This statistic comes as a result of growing urban populations and compromised air quality.

The trend toward electric or ‘green’ vehicles in today’s world is picking up speed (pun intended), with more and more police departments worldwide opting for a green initiative and fleet as well. The cost savings is substantial, especially for departments that are increasingly asked to do more with less. Ford Motor Company is introducing 13 new electrified vehicles globally in the next five years.

Ford sells the most police vehicles in the United States, with 63 percent of the market share. The company has been partnering with cities on custom law enforcement vehicles since the days of the Model T. Ford recently revealed the industry’s first pursuit-rated hybrid police car in New York and Los Angeles, the all-new Police Responder™ Hybrid Sedan, which will potentially save customers thousands in fuel costs. The Responder Hybrid Sedan is part of a $4.5 billion Ford investment to make electric vehicles that give customers greater capability, productivity and performance in addition to better fuel economy. The plans are part of Ford’s expansion to be an auto and a mobility company, including leading in electric and self-driving vehicles, and new mobility solutions.

Ideal for local patrol use, the Ford Police Responder Hybrid Sedan provides a capable option that delivers numerous benefits. These include potential fuel savings and reduced CO2 emissions, as well as fewer fill-ups—resulting in less vehicle downtime to keep your vehicles and officers on the road where they are needed. Compared to traditional police cruisers, the Ford Police Responder Hybrid Sedan provides a potentially small carbon footprint.

With on-the-job experience and years in the field gained from the duty-tested Police Interceptor®, Ford learned the unique durability and reliability requirements that police use demands. The Police Responder Hybrid Sedan was designed and developed to meet the same federal fuel system crash standards as retail vehicles and other manufacturers’ police vehicles.

 

Hybrid Advantages

The Police Responder Hybrid Sedan will help cities decrease emissions and offers the potential for significant fuel savings, both while driving and while idling. Potential fuel savings from reduced engine idling time is a definite advantage of hybrid police vehicles. Even when idling, police vehicles must constantly keep their engines running to power lighting packages, radios, computers and other electrical equipment. The Responder reduces engine idling time by powering its electrical load using the lithium-ion hybrid battery. This allows the engine to run less, only intermittently called upon to top off the battery.

While driving, the Police Responder Hybrid Sedan combines a 2.0L I-4 Atkinson-cycle engine, an 88-kW electric A/C motor and a 1.4-kW lithium-ion battery to have a projected EPA-estimated combined gas mileage of 38 miles per gallon—more than twice that of today’s Police Interceptor with 3.7-liter V6 with EPA-estimated 18 mpg combined. Actual mileage will vary; final EPA-estimated ratings are not yet available. The hybrid is calibrated for law enforcement’s unique duty cycle and will run in battery-only mode up to 60 mph. The car automatically switches to maximum performance—with the engine and battery working at peak acceleration levels—when needed.

While idling, the Police Responder Hybrid Sedan’s lithium-ion battery helps power the high electrical loads of a police vehicle, reducing engine run time and saving an estimated 0.27 gallons of fuel per hour. Police Responder Hybrid Sedan customers could see nearly $3,900 a year in potential fuel savings per vehicle relative to the Police Interceptor, if a police vehicle is driven 20,000 miles per year, runs two shifts per day, 365 days per year, idles 4.9 hours per eight-hour shift, and is fueled at an average gas price of $2.50/gallon. The Ford Police Responder online fuel calculator enables customers to determine how much they may potentially save.

The new vehicle will be the first hybrid sedan with full pursuit capabilities. That means the car is certified by police agencies to be tough enough to handle police pursuits for longer periods at different speeds and over obstacles such as curbs and flooded intersections.

 “Our mission to create safe and healthy communities in Los Angeles is achieved through sustainable approaches in community policing, and that includes embracing new technologies,” said Charlie Beck, Los Angeles Police Department Chief. “Patrol vehicles are a police officer’s office, and we expect them to not only be economically and environmentally efficient, but also an effective tool for fighting crime in major metropolitan areas.”

The Police Responder Hybrid Sedan can be ordered this spring and will be delivered to police departments nationwide next summer.

 

Interior

The interior of the Ford Responder Hybrid Sedan features police-specific, rugged cloth front seats with slim bolsters that assist officers with a duty belt. Tough anti-stab plates in the front seat backs enhance safety for officers. Heavy-duty vinyl rear seating and flooring make it easy to clean. Other features include: police-specific rear door trim panels with integrated closeouts and heavy-duty front door tethers.

The Responder Sedan is also very upfit-friendly, with a standard console mounting plate in lieu of a floor console, and easy access to power and wiring. The rotary gear shift dial in the lower center stack can be relocated to aftermarket upfit console if desired, and there is a centrally located universal top tray for upfits.

Still more features include unique police instrumentation with pursuit mode indicator and certified speedometer; red/white task lighting in overhead console; auxiliary power distribution box in trunk, plus rear power lug. The load-bearing battery cover provides extra storage space in trunk, always a plus.

 

Exterior

The exterior of the Ford Responder Hybrid Sedan looks modern and sleek. Front deflector plates help prevent vehicle damage. Other features include: police-purposed wheels, tires and hubcaps; police-tuned regenerative braking system with 17-inch rotors and twin-piston calipers; heavy-duty suspension components.

This pursuit vehicle is ideal for urban patrolling based on 2X durability tested, 30-mph railroad-crossing tested, and reverse J-turn tested. Validation extends to 8-inch curb impacts, and water fording in 18-inch and 10-inch depths at speeds of 15 mph and 40 mph, respectively.

 

Global Lineup

Ford is at the forefront of driving electric vehicle technology and improving costs on batteries and motors for hybrids, plug-in hybrids, and fully electric vehicles. As the company focuses on vehicles that deliver improved performance, Ford expects sales of hybrids, plug-in hybrids, and fully electric vehicles to dramatically increase during the next decade.

“Electrifying our next generation of vehicles is core to our unwavering commitment to sustainability,” said Joe Hinrichs, Ford president, the Americas. “By being a leader in electrified vehicles, we remain committed to delivering cars, trucks and SUVs that are better not only for our customers, but for the environment and society as well.” This year, Ford is also testing a fleet of 20 Transit Connect hybrid taxi and van prototypes in demanding traffic conditions in New York and several other major U.S. cities.

In addition to the all-new Ford Police Responder Hybrid Sedan, Ford is delivering another new hybrid police vehicle: a fully electric small SUV, coming by 2020, engineered to deliver an EPA-estimated range of at least 300 miles, to be sold in North America, Europe and Asia. Actual range will vary, and final EPA numbers are not yet available.

Other vehicles in Ford’s lineup include: A hybrid-powered self-driving vehicle designed for commercial mobility services, starting in North America in 2021. A hybrid version of best-selling F-150 pickup will be available by 2020, and sold in North America and the Middle East. This F-150 Hybrid will offer powerful towing and payload capacity, and will operate as a mobile generator tough enough to power a job site. A hybrid version of the iconic Mustang will deliver V8 power and even more low-end torque. The Mustang Hybrid debuts in 2020 in North America, to start. In addition, a Transit Custom plug-in hybrid will be available in 2019 in Europe, engineered to help reduce operating costs in even the most congested streets.

Ford also is aggressively expanding its electric vehicle lineup in China. The company just announced that, by 2025, 70 percent of the vehicles it sells there will be electrified.

Ford is also introducing the Mondeo Energi plug-in hybrid and an all-new fully electric small SUV with projected EPA-estimated range of at least 300 miles to customers in China.

In January, Ford announced a multimillion-pound project designed to help improve air quality in London. Ford is providing 20 Transit Custom plug-in hybrid vehicles to a range of fleets to explore how these commercial vans can contribute to cleaner air targets, while boosting operator productivity in urban conditions. The project is supported financially by the U.K. government-funded Advanced Propulsion Center.

 

Innovative Services

Ford is working on a suite of services to make electric vehicles even easier to own. “Innovative services can be as important to customers as the electric vehicles themselves,” said Hau Thai-Tang, Ford group vice president, purchasing, and the company’s electrification champion. “We are investing in solutions to help private customers as well as commercial fleet owners seamlessly incorporate these new vehicles and technologies into their lives.”

Ford has a memorandum of understanding with several automakers in Europe to create an ultra-fast charging network projected to be significantly faster than the most powerful charging system deployed today. An initial target of approximately 400 sites in Europe is planned. By 2020, consumers should have access to thousands of high-powered charging points.

Ford also is piloting wireless technology on company electric cars in the United States and Europe to make recharging as easy as pulling into a parking spot, so drivers never forget to recharge. Wireless recharging extends electric-only range for short-distance commuters, even during quick stops. FordPass® also can help consumers find charging stations.

 

Looking Ahead

Ford Motor Company predicts the auto industry will offer customers more hybrids, plug-in hybrids, and fully electric vehicles than gasoline-powered vehicles within the next 15 years. The Ford Responder Hybrid Sedan is the industry’s first pursuit-rated hybrid purpose-built for the police duty cycle with $3,877 in potential fuel savings, per vehicle, per year. See www.fordpoliceresponder.com for more details, or to calculate your own scenario. Police fleet managers should consider this green vehicle option for their fleets to save money while providing a state-of-the-art ‘mobile office’ for their first responders.

Photos courtesy of Ford Motor Company

 



Published in Police Fleet Manager, Mar/Apr 2017

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