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Posted by Queen Anne's County Office of the Sheriff on Tuesday, November 3, 2020

In June of 2020, the Queen Anne's County, Md., Office of the Sheriff purchased its first hybrid vehicles from Ford and were fast impressed with the fuel savings. The 2020 Police Interceptor Utility (PIU) with hybrid powertrain was the first hybrid large enough to accommodate all the gear needed in contemporary police operations utilized by the Queen Anne’s County Office of the Sheriff, according to a recent Facebook post

The Office of the Sheriff currently has six of these hybrids on the street and will deploy eight more shortly. The Sheriff’s Office looked at ways to save taxpayer money, and where hybrids showed significant cost advantages were in police operations involving leaving a patrol vehicle run idle. While vehicles sit idle parked at a scene so lights can run, radios stay on, and computers powered up to write reports, the PIU hybrid can do so without the engine running.

With 14 hybrid patrol vehicles being utilized come year 2021, the Queen Anne’s County Office of the Sheriff is looking at a savings of over $3,000 per vehicle per year. The savings are estimated to benefit the county and its residents by approximately $42,000 per year.

Fuel savings from the 2020 PIU are significant, with a combined city and highway fuel consumption rating of 24 MPG for the hybrid, where traditional gas engine patrol vehicles only average approximately 12 to 15 MPG. The Ford PI Utility demonstrates acceleration impressively as well as outstanding handling, maneuverability, and braking.

Stopping power is also important to consider when it comes to how police drive, and hybrids have an edge by utilizing regenerative braking which slows the vehicle more effectively than what is possible by using standard brakes. This also has the added benefit of a shorter stopping distance and less wear and tear on the brakes. With hybrid models, brakes stay cooler, retain more stopping power, and last much longer. Police departments are showing a set of brakes can last 100,000 miles or more with their hybrid vehicles, something unheard of with traditional gas vehicles.

The minimal price per new hybrid vehicle increase is easily offset by reduced fuel consumption, improved brake life, and economic idle performance. The hybrid battery system comes with a 100,000 mile / 8 year warranty, which alleviates any worries of future vehicle costly repairs.

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