Saving Fuel, Protecting The Environment: Grapevine Adds Hybrid Police Vehicles To Fleet


By Rick Mauch Special to the Star-Telegram

September 11, 2020 07:00 AM The City of Grapevine is incorporating the environmentally and economically friendly Ford Hybrid Police Interceptor Utility to their fleet of police vehicles. City of Grapevine

Not only is the City of Grapevine protecting the community, but it’s also protecting the environment.

Grapevine is one of the first North Texas cities to incorporate the Ford Hybrid Police Interceptor Utility vehicle to their police fleet.

The new police hybrid adds environmental benefits that include fuel savings and performance that exceeds other police units. They offer less idle time without sacrificing necessary operation power needed in a police vehicle.

Police vehicles require a computer, radios, cameras, radars, and lights that typically require the vehicle to remain on to keep all of the items operating.

With the four new hybrid police units, each of these items operates off of a lithium-ion battery for an extended time. It allows the gas engine to shut off, running only intermittently to charge the battery, even with the air conditioning running.

“We are looking for less idle time and engine run time, which means less wear and tear on vehicle components. The end result is lower maintenance cost and lower fuel consumption, which equals savings,” City of Grapevine Fleet Manager Patrick Hughes said.

The new hybrid vehicles will also cruise without the engine running until the speed reaches 40 mph, then the high-performance 3.3L Hybrid Engine kicks in with its 10-speed modular hybrid transmission.

This vehicle and its hybrid components will aid in the reduction of CO2 emissions and can save thousands for each vehicle annually, Hughes said.

“What we are looking for is a reduction in fuel and maintenance cost. The 2020 Police Hybrid is the first year out, so we will not know how much of a savings will be seen but we are hoping to see upwards of a $5,000 per vehicle each year in savings,” he said.

That savings will also impact the citizens of Grapevine, more than economically, Hughes added.

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“The City of Grapevine is always looking for ways of reducing carbon dioxide and these hybrids provide one of the means of achieving that goal. We want to do our part to help provide a cleaner and healthier environment for our citizens,” he said.

Hughes added that 75% of the police fleet uses E85 fuel, an alternative source.

Hughes also noted that Grapevine is an active member in the Dallas-Fort Worth Clean Cities Program. The use of E85 vehicles is cleaner, but the hybrid vehicles are even cleaner and provide a means of reducing maintenance costs and fuel savings.

The new vehicles have a top speed of 137 mph, reaching 0 to 100 mph in 17.7 seconds, and able to stop at 60 mph in 132.4 feet, outperforming the police Tahoe.

City officials also noted that multiple departments within the city currently benefit from these hybrid vehicles, including public works, engineering, environmental, parks and recreation, and development services. As city vehicles begin to age out, the fleet department will continue to purchase hybrid vehicles.

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