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Cape Coral Police Department set to go green

By Staff | Jul 11, 2019

Those black and white police cars you see from the Cape Coral Police Department are soon going to have a green aspect to them.

The CCPD is among the first in the country to get brand new hybrid SUVs built specifically as police vehicles. The Ford Fusion-based Police Responder Sedan and the Ford Explorer Police Interceptor are the first true hybrids built for police purposes.

Initially, the CCPD will purchase two SUVs in December. If initial testing in the field goes well, the CCPD will buy more.

It could eventually transition over to all hybrids and even electric vehicles. Ford Motor Company estimates the vehicles will save on the number of gallons of fuel per car per year.

By transitioning the police fleet to electric vehicles (EVs), the CCPD fleet hopes to lead by example by helping to cut greenhouse gas emissions, saving taxpayer money, improving public health, and reducing our nation’s dependence on oil, officials said.

Police Chief Dave Newlan said hybrid police vehicles could be the wave of the future.

“We believe in always being on the cutting edge of technology in order to be as efficient and effective as possible in furthering our number one priority: the safety of the community and our police officers.” Newlan said.

The hybrid vehicles will cost $2,500 more than the gas-powered version, but Newlan believes the upgrade is worth it.

“You spend a little more up front,” Newlan said, “but with fuel savings alone, we hope to make up that additional payout in the first few years.”

Currently, the department has about 300 vehicles and spends about $625,000 a year on fuel. The hybrid vehicles are expected to save the department more than 600 gallons a year per cruiser.

Ford Motor Company claims that the new hybrid Police Interceptor SUV is faster and more fuel efficient than the gas-powered model. Tailpipe emissions are reduced because the engine is shutting off for extended periods of time.

There will be fewer oil changes and fewer brake changes because of regenerative braking on the vehicle. Officer patrol time will increase as there will be fewer trips to the pump. The electric motor on the hybrid allows the gas engine to turn off.

A new safety feature on the hybrids is a perimeter alert, which warns the officers if someone comes up from behind them, and automatically rolls up the windows and locks the doors.

Officers tested the hybrid vehicles to determine whether they would meet the standards of the department, and initial impressions were positive, resulting in the go-ahead in ordering the first few of these vehicles.