From left: Energy Management Committee member Bill Saltonstall, Chief Richard Nighelli and Selectman Norm Hills with the Marion Police Department’s new hybrid police cruiser. (Photo courtesy Marion Police Department)
MARION — Chief Richard Nighelli is pleased to announce that the Marion Police Department received its first hybrid police cruiser this week.
The 2021 Ford Police Interceptor Utility was received by the department and put into service on Wednesday, March 3.
The cruiser has the potential to result in significant fuel savings and reduced emissions for the department. It is expected to get an estimated rating of 23 city miles per gallon and 24 highway miles per gallon. Comparatively, a non-hybrid model gets an average estimated 17 city miles per gallon and 23 highway miles per gallon.
In addition to better overall fuel economy, the new hybrid cruiser also reduces engine idle time by allowing on-board electronic devices to use the vehicle’s hybrid battery, allowing the gasoline engine to shut off for extended periods of time.
The Police Interceptor Utility is the first pursuit-rated hybrid SUV and features all of the traditional engineering and structural features that offer stability, power and safety. According to Ford, it is also the only vehicle worldwide that is engineered to meet the 75-mph rear-impact crash test.
“The new hybrid vehicle has the necessary technology and structural features to provide the safety and dependability needed in a law enforcement vehicle, while also saving fuel and reducing emissions,” Chief Nighelli said. “I would like to thank Officer Jonathan Castro who worked closely with Ford to build this vehicle to our specifications. We are pleased to be adding this cruiser to our fleet, and will monitor performance, fuel and maintenance costs to help us evaluate the potential savings and benefits that will affect our decision to purchase additional hybrid vehicles in the future.”
In August 2020, the Town of Marion was awarded a grant totaling $120,238 as part of the Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources Green Communities program. As part of the program, the town is working to reduce energy usage by 20% over five years, which includes gas and diesel use. The hybrid cruiser was purchased to help further this commitment as part of the Green Communities program.
“One of the most efficient features of this new vehicle is the ability for the engine to automatically shut down unless needed periodically to charge its battery, instead of idling when at a standstill,” said Bill Saltonstall, a member of the Marion Energy Management Committee. “This will help the town save fuel and engine wear, and reduced burning of fossil fuel fits our broader goal to reduce the town’s energy use by 20% over five years. The Energy Management Committee is very pleased with this purchase and looks forward to seeing its payoff.”
With the addition of the hybrid cruiser, Marion’s fleet now includes nine total vehicles: one marked Ford Interceptor hybrid model, two marked and two unmarked Ford Explorer models, two marked and one unmarked Ford Taurus models, and one marked Ford F-150.