Government Fleet Top News

Sheriff Tests Hybrid Prius for Future Unmarked Squad Car

November 3, 2004

APPLETON, WI – Wisconsin´s Outagamie County is preparing to test its first hybrid gas-electric vehicle with the purchase of a 2005 Toyota Prius. The vehicle will be used as an unmarked sheriff´s department squad car, but in a testing capacity rather than for actual calls, reported The Post-Crescent newspaper.Although the Prius sells for about $4,000 more than the gasoline-powered vehicles currently used as unmarked squad cars, its superior gas mileage is expected to make up the difference.Capt. Mike Jobe said an unmarked car typically drives about 20,000 miles a year. In exclusive city driving, this would amount to $685 for fuel for the Prius if a gallon of gas costs $2.05. This compares to $1,952 worth of gas for a vehicle powered by gasoline only.Unlike conventional vehicles, hybrids are most efficient during stop-and-go driving, often found in a city environment, because the electric motor is used to power the vehicle instead of gas. This type of driving allows the braking system to recharge the electricity supply.Jobe added that if the hybrid performs as well as the other squad vehicles and can save the county money, others may be added to the fleet.

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