The Wilton Police Department is one of the first agencies in Connecticut to purchase the new Ford Police Interceptor Utility Hybrid.

In an announcement sent by the department via email, the new hybrid model, according to Ford, has an EPA-estimated rating of 23 mpg city/24 mpg highway/24 mpg combine, which is a 41-percent improvement over the current Police Interceptor Utility equipped with a conventional 3.7-liter gas engine.

The new model is projected to save taxpayers between $3,500 and $5,700 per vehicle in fuel costs annually, according to the announcement. The 2020 model is the first-ever pursuit-rated police utility vehicle with a standard hybrid engine.

According to police, the base price for the hybrid is $35,409 which is a little more than the non-hybrid which is priced at $32,090. These are state bid prices that are negotiated by the state. On average, Wilton keeps a cruiser for four-plus years, so they expect to save at least $14,000 per car in fuel costs.

This past fall, police were able to test drive the new hybrid model, and said they were impressed with the performance of the vehicle. The new hybrid does not sacrifice any of the performance they would get with the traditional police vehicle, they said.

Hybrid technology is ideal for law enforcement, they said, because of the potentially significant idle-time fuel savings. When traditional police vehicles are stationary, the conventional gasoline engine must run continuously to power emergency lighting, radios, computers and other on-board electrical equipment.

The new hybrid powertrain of the Police Interceptor Utility Hybrid allows the engine to shut off for extended periods, powering electrical equipment via its lithium-ion battery and helping achieve significant reductions in fuel usage and CO2 emissions over the previous generation Police Interceptor Utility.