Princeton Police Department’s fleet to include hybrid-engine patrol cars

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The hybrid engine could save an estimated 1,276 gallons of gasoline per year

The Princeton Police Department will replace older gasoline-engine patrol cars with hybrid-engine vehicles.

The Princeton Council approved a resolution that earmarks $325,000 for the purchase of 2023 Police Interceptor Utility AWD hybrid vehicles. They did not specify how many vehicles they would be purchasing. Currently, there are no hybrid patrol cars in the fleet.

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The hybrid patrol vehicles will replace older patrol cars that have experienced significant repair problems, including unrepairable damage, high mileage and repair problems that resulted in the vehicles being out of service for extended periods of time, officials said.

The Police Interceptor Utility AWD hybrid vehicle is based on the Ford Explorer SUV, but it is purpose-built for police duty, according to www.ford.com. It was introduced in 2020 as the first-ever pursuit-rated hybrid police SUV.

The hybrid engine format is especially suited for police work, because police vehicles spend a lot of time idling on the job, Ford Motor Co. said. The on-board electrical equipment can be powered using the lithium-ion hybrid battery, allowing the gasoline engine to be shut off. The gasoline engine would run intermittently to charge the battery.

The hybrid engine is more efficient and results in significant fuel savings, according to Ford Motor Co. The hybrid engine could save an estimated 1,276 gallons of gasoline per year.

A gasoline engine in a police patrol car that is driven 20,000 miles per year would use 2,839 gallons of gasoline, based on 17 miles per gallon (mpg), Ford said. The hybrid version would use 1,563 gallons of gasoline, based on 24 mpg.

The hybrid engine also would result in a potential 25,560 pounds of carbon dioxide output reduction per vehicle, per year, according to Ford Motor Co.

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