New York City, Indianapolis and London are among cities taking advantage of hybrid vehicles in their police fleets.
The New York Police Department (NYPD) rolled out 40 hybrid cars to patrol five boroughs where their fuel efficiency presents the greatest economic and environmental benefit. The department is adding Nissan Altima hybrids, 18 marked and 22 unmarked.
The NYPD will have a total of 100 hybrids in use by year’s end. The police department also has 10 GMC Yukon Hybrid SUVs used by duty captains.
Although the Altima hybrids cost more than the Impalas or Crown Victorias currently used in the police fleet, these hybrids offer greater acceleration and get 35 miles per gallon, which is double that of the Impala or Crown Victoria.
New York City now has 3,300 hybrids among the fleet of 26,000 city-owned vehicles with most hybrids assigned to sanitation, buildings, parks and transportation, according to Newsday.com.
The Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department (IMPD) may also replace its older patrol cars with hybrid vehicles, reports WIBC Indianapolis News. IMPD currently has 675 vehicles that have been driven more than 100,000 miles, which is more than 40 percent of its fleet of police vehicles.
The Department has 58 Toyota Prius hybrid electric cars in use by administrative personnel, with some of them being equipped with light bars for limited patrols on the streets downtown, according to WIBC.
Police departments across the country may have more hybrid choices in the future. Both Hyundai Motor Group and General Motors Corp. recently announced their plans to develop several hybrid vehicles.
European police forces are also looking into alternative vehicles for their fleets. For example, the Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) in London is evaluating alternative fuel vehicles like the electric Smartcar, due to increasing focus on limiting carbon emissions, reports the Dagenham news site. The MPS, with a fleet of about 8,600 vehicles, is said to be one of the largest fleets in the UK.
The Met already has over 100 hybrid cars in use with the Toyota Prius being used for local patrol, transport duties and supporting Safer Neighborhood Teams, according to the news site.
The MPS has been involved with a market trial of electric-powered cars since June 2008, using four Smart EDs (electric drives) across London to support operations and provide transport solutions, according Dagenham news. These cars are charged using a standard three-pin plug and deliver a range of 70 miles on an eight-hour charge with no emissions.