2019 Ford Special Service Hybrid Plug-In Review

Special Service Hybrid Plug-In

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2019 Ford Special Service Hybrid Plug-In Overview

While many law enforcement vehicles need to be pursuit-ready, the reality is that many others spend much of their time idling because of their officers’ specific duties. Keenly aware of this, Ford has chosen to be the first to offer a plug-in hybrid vehicle for 2019, in the form of the Special Services Police Responder Plug-In Hybrid Sedan. The automaker says that it designed the Police Responder hybrid to potentially get through a full police shift without using any gasoline whatsoever.

The Police Responder might seem familiar, and that’s because it is. It’s essentially a version of Ford’s Fusion Energi plug-in hybrid. That means there’s a 2.0-liter inline 4-cylinder and 88 kW motor driving the front wheels via a continuously-variable automatic transmission (CVT). Horsepower isn’t specified, but the Fusion Energi makes 188 horsepower with this same package. The 7.6 kilowatt-hour lithium-ion battery can be charged in 7 hours on the standard 120 volt charger, or just 2.5 hours with a 240 volt connection. Either way, there’s up to an estimated 21 miles of electric range, a maximum speed of 85 miles in electric-only mode, and a total range of 500 miles. Fuel economy is estimated at 38 mpg combined, which is exactly twice that of Ford’s Taurus-based Police Interceptor.

Otherwise, the Police Responder comes smartly outfitted for duty, especially inside. The front seats have rugged cloth upholstery, anti-stab plates in the backrests, and minimal side bolstering so that officers remain comfortable while wearing belts. And the Police Responder uses the same space-saving rotary gear selector as the Fusion and Expedition, so there’s no clunky stalk or lever taking up space. Other standard features include a reinforced tray top, a console mounting plate, red and white task lighting mounted in the overhead console, and an auxiliary power distribution system in the trunk.

As far as optional equipment, there’s a trunk storage vault, a trunk ventilation system, and a feature that remotely disables the rear doors. Agencies can even spec a unique function that allows the Police Responder to remain powered on, but dims all interior lighting completely, including the instrument panel, for surveillance and discreet operations.

Police pursuits are certainly still necessary for certain officers, but there are plenty of other roles, such as detectives, fire chiefs, and traffic enforcers, in which a hybrid just makes good sense. The Ford Police Responder Plug-In Hybrid has arrived to smartly fulfill that need.


Kyree is new to the automotive journalism scene, but has voiced snarky public opinions about cars for quite some time. When he's not drooling over the latest European luxury sled, he's designing web experiences or writing backend code.

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