Ford says US forces with fleets of more than a thousand vehicles will save millions of dollars a year using “gas-electric” cars.
US police will soon be saving the environment as well as fighting crime thanks to a new hybrid car powered by both petrol and batteries.
The Ford Motor Company says its new Police Responder hybrid sedan – a modified Ford Fusion – is the first “gasoline-electric” car to be “pursuit rated”, which means it can race through city streets and navigate crowded areas or high kerbs.
The car averages 38 miles a gallon when driven in the city and on highways – more than twice that of the current Police Interceptor model.
Ford estimates police forces will save more than £2,000 on fuel for every car over a year, which would translate into savings of millions of pounds for forces with fleets of more than a thousand cruisers.
The new car, which was unveiled in New York and Los Angeles, will be on the streets in the summer of 2018 and can go from zero to 60mph in 8.7 seconds.
Its engine will shut off when the car is stopped, with the battery handling the electrical load for lights, radios and other items.
Thomas Korabik, chief of the 10-officer North Muskegon, Michigan, police department, said his city spends about $22,000 (£17,000) per year on fuel for four cruisers and that the new vehicles could cut that by half.
Mr Korabik said: “Any time you can save money it is good. I’d want to see the car first and see how it would hold up.”
Arie Groenveld, Ford’s chief programme engineer for police vehicles, said: “Having a pursuit rated green vehicle was what they were looking for. We expect this vehicle will grow our market share.”