The Eugene, Oregon, Police Department (EPD) has purchased nine 2020 Ford hybrid police SUVs as part of the city’s philosophy to move to more eco-friendly equipment (electric, hybrid), and also purchased four E-bikes and a GEM low-speed electric vehicle.
In 2014, Eugene City Council passed the Climate Recovery Ordinance (CRO), which included a goal for the city to reduce fossil fuel use by 50% by 2030. In 2019, greenhouse gas emissions from vehicle fuels like gasoline and diesel accounted for about 45% of the city’s total emissions. Transitioning the department’s fleet to more fuel efficient and carbon free options will help the city achieve significant progress toward CRO goals.
This was the first year the Ford hybrid model was available for police, and department jumped on the opportunity, purchasing them through the State of Oregon price agreement for approximately $42,854 each. These SUVs help move department’s fleet toward the city’s climate goals as well as reduced maintenance and fuel costs. According to the manufacturer, they are estimated to save about 1,200 gallons of fuel per vehicle, leading to more than a 10 metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent reduction annually. After receiving the first nine, the department ordered 13 more 2020 police SUVs for $43,022 each. The most recent police SUV order comes in Iconic Silver, which will be the department’s new marked police vehicle color. In addition to the new color, the department has a new graphics package installed on all new hybrid models.
According to the manufacturer, the hybrid power train offers significant potential reductions in fuel use with decreased engine idle times and an EPA-estimated rating of 23 city/24 combined miles per gallon. This could potentially result in saving $3,509 per vehicle per year (calculation based on Ford comparison with the previous-generation 3.7L V6 Police Interceptor Utility and an example fuel price of $2.75 per gallon).
The GEM, which will be used downtown, is a four-door EV (electric vehicle), which is street-legal. It can travel up to 25 mph and offers flexibility to get around downtown, provide a visible presence, while having a smaller profile than a patrol vehicle. It is much easier to park and get around in for the many meetings with businesses. It has light bars and siren. The cost of the GEM was roughly $20,000.
The EPD Downtown Team also has four E-bikes, two from Specialized and two from Trek. The bikes are power assist, meaning the officers still need to pedal the bicycle to engage the motor. They can travel up to 28 mph on flat ground and provide a significant power assist when climbing hills. Depending on the mode used, the range of the bikes is 50-75 miles between charges. The department purchased these as supplemental bikes to the current Downtown Team bike fleet. They allow officers to patrol quicker and without as much energy exertion as a normal bike. Officers can respond and cover more ground without becoming exhausted. The Specialized bikes each cost about $4,500 after all equipment. The Trek bicycles also cost approximately $4,500 after equipment.