Ford Motor Co. (NYSE:F) has unveiled its 2021 F-150 Police Responder, a purpose-built pickup truck that will be made available to U.S. law enforcement agencies later this year.
What Happened: Ford first introduced the F-150 line for police in 2017, and the new model includes an improved 120 mph top speed and automatic four-wheel-drive mode with torque-on-demand transfer case to enable a smooth transition to off-road capability. The vehicle rides on specially developed Goodyear (NASDAQ:GT) tires designed to handle rapid acceleration, high speeds and aggressive cornering.
A new police engine idle feature an officer remove the key from the ignition and securely exit the truck with the engine running. The vehicle is also equipped with Ford's SYNC 4 cloud connectivity, which includes an 8-inch touchscreen in the center stack and an embedded modem with wireless updates.
The new model also offers a standard towing capacity of 7,000 pounds and available towing capacity of 11,200 pounds, in addition to a payload capacity of 2,030 pounds.
"Law enforcement agencies told us they would love to add F-150 Police Responder towing, hauling and off-road performance to their fleets, but they need more confidence in speed and handling," Greg Ebel, Ford's police vehicle brand manager, said in a statement.
"Whether suburban police departments, border patrol agents or rural sheriffs, officers never know where the job might take them, but the all-new F-150 Police Responder provides a pickup truck option engineered to get them there faster and with greater agility than ever before."
Catching Crooks With EVs? Ford is the dominant automobile supplier for U.S. police agencies, supplying more than half of the vehicles used in law enforcement.
Electric vehicles are not common in police fleets, but a few departments have included Tesla (NASDAQ:TSLA) EVs in their operations.
Indiana's Bargersville Police Department purchased a Model 3 in August 2019, with Connecticut's Westport Police Department getting its own Model 3 in December 2019.
California's Fremont Police Department purchased a Model Y in July 2020 and New York's Hastings-on-Hudson Police Department incorporated a Model Y into its patrol fleet last December.
The latest department to get a Model Y is California's Seaside Police Department, which received municipal approval for two Tesla EVs.
The concept of an EV police car also carries an unfortunate bit of bad publicity: When the Fremont department was testing the viability of the Tesla in September 2019, an officer involved in a high-speed pursuit radioed for assistance because his battery was in danger of running out of power.
The department later said the Tesla technology was not faulty and acknowledged the vehicle was not fully charged when the officer began his shift four hours earlier.
The 2021 Ford F-150 Police Responder. Photo courtesy of Ford.