If you were looking for a new large SUV with a hybrid option, Ford just pulled a couple of them from the market. The 2024 Ford Explorer Hybrid and Lincoln Aviator Hybrid just got the ax, because it wants to focus its hybrid production capabilities on the Explorer Police Interceptor Utility Hybrid model. It seems that police forces across the nation just can’t get enough of the 318-horsepower 322 pound-feet of torque hybrid monster.
The Ford Explorer Goes All-Electric, But Not For America
Ford doesn’t publish information on how many Police Interceptor units it sells every year, but with Explorer and Aviator sales down across the board, Five Oh must be propping the model up quite a bit. Fleet sales have always been big for Ford and the Explorer, but it seems every new cop car sold these days is a Police Interceptor. The Explorer doesn’t quite have the stranglehold on the cop market as the Crown Victoria once did, but it’s got to be a strong market for Ford.
“To meet continued strong demand for the Ford Police Interceptor Utility hybrid and other Ford hybrid vehicles, the 2024 model year Explorer will only be offered with the fuel efficient 2.3-liter four-cylinder EcoBoost, which offers up to an EPA-estimated 24 mpg combined fuel economy, and the 3.0-liter EcoBoost V6,” Ford spokesperson Mike Levine commented to Green Car Reports. “Those two engines account for the majority of Explorer sales.”
The Explorer Hybrid is a pretty outmoded hybrid in today’s market anyway. It makes use of a 3.3-liter naturally-aspirated V6 and a tiny 44-horsepower electric motor on the transmission input shaft. It’s supplied by an even tinier 1.5 kWh lithium battery packaged under the rear seat. The seven-seater behemoth was EPA rated at just 25 miles per gallon in combined use, just a 2 MPG improvement over the base 2.3-liter Ecoboost model.
Police departments apparently quite like the hybrid model because the cars often sit idle for long periods. Presumably the lithium battery allows officers to power the accessories without having the engine run as much, which reduces fuel consumption further and improves wear and maintenance costs.
The next time a police chase ends with a bystander crushed to death, be thankful that the police are more environmentally conscious.