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The continued evolution of hybrid engines has allowed their use in an expanding variety of cars and trucks. And now, Ford Motor Co. has announced the first pursuit-rated hybrid police cruiser.

Ford’s Police Responder Hybrid sedan will premiere first with law enforcement agencies in New York and Los Angeles, offering officers a new toy based on the company’s Fusion model. Under the hood of the four-door vehicles will be Atkinson-cycle 2-liter engines paired with an electric motor powered by advanced lithium-ion batteries.

A key selling point for these new police cars is the money municipalities could save through greater fuel efficiency. Responder sedans will get an estimated 38 mpg — more than double what traditional Ford Police Interceptors get with their 3.6-liter V-6 engines.

Ford officials estimate each Responder could save $3,877 per year, with a gas price of $2.50 per gallon.

Responders will spend most of their time, when running below 60 mph, in battery-only mode. When higher speeds are needed, the vehicle’s regular engine works in conjunction with the battery motor.

“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.”

Following their debut in Los Angeles and New York, the Responder Hybrid Sedan can be ordered by other departments this spring for delivery next year.

jlynch@detroitnews.com

(313) 222-2034

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