Tip Sheets

Ho-hum hybrid myth shattered by new gas-electric police car

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Joe Schwartz

The Los Angeles Police Department plans to use world’s first ‘pursuit-rated’ hybrid patrol car that accelerates from zero to 60 mph in 5.8 seconds, shattering the myth of the sluggish hybrid vehicle.

Arthur Wheaton

Director of labor studies, ILR School

Art Wheaton, automotive expert and director of  Western NY Labor and Environmental Programsfor Cornell University’s ILR School, says that a high-performance hybrid police car is not a big surprise given the instant torque of hybrids.

Wheaton says: 

“Hybrid and electric cars are well known for instant torque – which is more important than horsepower for acceleration. The Tesla even markets its ‘Ludicrous Mode’ for nearly insane acceleration. Those characteristics would be useful for police pursuit vehicles.

“In addition to the surprising acceleration advantages, hybrid technology is great for extending the driving range of a police vehicle. Don’t be surprised to see more hybrid police cars once more people understand their combination of performance and fuel economy.”

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