After a successful trial of the Lexus RX 400h hybrid SUV by the Hampshire Police in the UK last year, the Wiltshire Constabulary will be the first police force to start using the Lexus GS 450h hybrid sedan. The press release states: "The GS 450h takes hybrid performance to a new level combining a 3.5-litre V6 petrol engine with a high output electric motor. These systems combine to provide a maximum output of 341bhp achieving a 0-62mph acceleration in 5.9 seconds. The performance matches conventional V8 petrol engines but has significantly lower fuel consumption (35.8mpg combined cycle [in imperial gallons, about 30 mpg in US gallons]) and CO2 emissions of 186g/km." Not quite Prius efficiency, but more than enough power for high speed pursuit.
Police fleet manager Steve Botham said: "The Lexus will be used by Wiltshire Police for varied traffic duties. The force is continuing to trial hybrid and environmentally friendly vehicles. The Lexus GS 450h gives the force the opportunity to operate a high performance hybrid vehicle in a demanding police role." We're sure they don't mind the shiny new toys either.
Parallel hybrids, also known as "full hybrids", like the GS 450h are well-adapted to urban driving because the internal combustion engine (ICE) and electric motor can move the car independently of each other: The ICE is turned off when the car stops and stay off at low speeds for as long as the electric motor can handle moving the car. Also, in a city the regenerative brakes have lots of occasions to recharge the batteries and the SULEV-rated tailpipe emissions contribute very little to smog.