Ford have explained to MotorMartin recently how they brought new and old favourite police cars to the M1 to help celebrate 60 years of use on UK motorways.
With the original stretch of the higher speed trunk road running through Hertfordshire, Bedfordshire and Northamptonshire, the three counties’ police forces decided on a standard car to carry equipment quickly.
They picked Farnham’s conversion of the popular Ford Zephyr saloon into a versatile estate, and Herts Police’s car in Ford’s heritage collection is the only remaining example.
Forty years on, Ford say, fleets are prioritising fuel efficiency and the Ford Mondeo large family estate now comes as a petrol-electric hybrid for the same price as the diesel only equivalent. It offers the driving range and freedom of a traditional combustion engine with the efficiency and refinement of an electric powertrain.
Importantly, the self-charging engine, homologated at 99g CO2, eliminates both range anxiety and the need for customers to use an external power source to charge the battery.
The hybrid estate provides 403 litres load capacity beneath the tonneau cover with the rear seats in place, and up to 1,508 litres with the rear seats folded. The flat floor over the battery pack makes loading and unloading of large or bulky items easier, with additional storage under the load floor.
Owen Gregory, Ford of Britain fleet director, shared with MotorMartin that: “The Ford Mondeo hybrid pulls away silently, produces zero emissions when running on electric and does not require plugging in to recharge.”
“Factor in the estate’s extra space and this becomes the idea M1 motorway mile muncher for families and police fleets alike.”
Chris Smith, Highways England’s assistant safety coordinator for the East of England, commented: “Cars have changed beyond recognition in the last 60 years, and the motorways they drive on have too. Our first motorways had no speed limit, no safety barriers and many cars, which were not designed for motorway speeds, ended up on the hard shoulder.”
“Today’s motorways are packed with technology to help people on their journeys, with variable speed limits to help smooth out stop-start traffic and signs and signals to warn drivers about changing conditions on the road ahead. On smart motorway sections, such as on the M1 between junctions 13 and 16, we’re making better use of the hard shoulder by making it available as an extra lane of traffic.”
“Just as cars have changed over these past 60 years, we’re continuing to improve the motorway network to keep journeys smooth and safe for the millions of drivers who depend on them every day.”
Who’d have thought it?
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