MPD Hybrid Cruisers

Mansfield police have two new hybrid Ford Interceptor Utility police cruisers and a third is on the way. Above, Patrolman Josh Ellender poses with the new wheels.

We salute Mansfield for being the area’s first police department to utilize hybrid cruisers.

And we ask other area communities: What are you waiting for?

Several Massachusetts towns have already decided to go green — reducing pollution while saving cash.

After considerable financial analysis, Topsfield decided to buy a Ford Mustang electric vehicle for a cruiser.

“The up-front cost plus the fit-out of the vehicle is about a $5,000 to $6,000 variance between buying a combustion engine Ford Explorer or buying a Mustang (electric vehicle),” Town Administrator Kevin Harutunian told Wicked Local North. “And when we looked at the savings from the cost to fuel the vehicle, electricity versus gasoline, and we looked at the ongoing annual maintenance costs being reduced with an EV, no oil changes and things of that nature, we estimate somewhere between a $3,500 to $4,000 savings annually.”

Marblehead purchased two Ford Interceptor SUV hybrids for cruisers — the same as those being tested in Mansfield — and finds there will be savings in more than fuel.

“It has the ability to kind of go into a sleep mode, unlike a traditional 24-hour running cruiser,” Police Chief Dennis King told the news website. “It kind of shuts itself down and monitors it, which has nothing but positive effects on the wear and tear of a vehicle, which, for police, is a big deal. Wear and tear is 24 hours a day, seven days a week, so anytime you can reduce the number of hours that it’s in operation, you’re going to see savings.”

Massachusetts State Police have a fleet of 3,100 vehicle and have been transitioning to the Ford Interceptor hybrid since 2020. Sgt. P.J. Fernandes, who oversees the fleet, said there was no mandate to go green, just a consensus that it was the right thing to do.

“We are exempt from (mandates) right now, being a police agency, but as the world changes, we are going to be subjected to those,” he told the trade publication Government Fleet. “And this is just a way — call it perception, call it whatever you want — but we’re buying hybrid cars, we’re doing our part, we’re trying to do it better.”

The early reviews in Mansfield are good. Fuel savings are tracking at 25% less and the wear and tear on the engines is considerably reduced. Mansfield’s fleet supervisor, Lt. Frank Archer, expects technology to improve to the point that fully electric vehicles can be used by police in five years.

Mansfield’s conversion to hybrid cruises is to be applauded. We hope the results of the yearlong test prove positive.

More importantly, we urge area communities to follow Mansfield’s lead and go green.