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Ford's newest hybrids give authorities all-electric auto power for the first time


Ford is offering law enforcement agencies even more range with a brand new plug-in hybrid.

The new vehicle, officially named the Special Service Plug-In Hybrid Sedan, marks the first time the automaker has made a car that can run on only electric power specifically for police and other government authorities.

The car isn't meant for pursuits and beat usage like the Police Responder Hybrid the company showed off earlier this year. Instead, this is a ride Ford says it designed specially for police and fire chiefs, detectives, and other government personnel whose jobs don’t require a pursuit-rated vehicle.

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Drivers will get an estimated 21 miles of range on the battery alone, with a top speed of 85 mph. Ford says that a level two charger will refill the battery in about 2.5 hours, but most authorities will likely be able to charge the hybrid using standard 120-volt wall outlet instead. Switching to hybrid mode and tapping gasoline will up the car's top speed and raise the range to more than 500 miles per tank.

The new vehicle looks like just one of Ford's standard Fusion hybrids at first glance, but specialized law enforcement options like a driver spot lamp and dash cluster dimming options for surveillance set it apart from the consumer version. The hybrid can also be outfitted with emergency light packages (seen in the photo above), which definitely aren't available in just any old Fusion to stop traffic on a whim.

Ford is expanding its reach into electric vehicle development, and the new hybrid is part of the plan. The automaker has pledged to invest $4.5 billion over the next five years on the new tech, with 13 new models planned for release by 2023.

Orders for the new Special Service hybrid begin in December, while sales will actually start next summer.


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