Police departments in two states are reporting savings after beginning the transition to hybrid fleets.
In Hingham, Massachusetts, Police Chief David Jones said his department has seen significant savings since its purchase of a fleet of hybrid vehicles last year. According to a press release, the department began using seven new hybrid cruisers in July of 2021. The 2021 Ford Police Interceptor Utility Hybrid vehicles are used as frontline patrol vehicles. In a budget presentation at a recent board meeting, Jones broke down a comparison between the six-month period when the vehicles were used, versus that same timeframe with non-hybrids in 2020. The hybrids used approximately 46% less fuel, and saw an increase in fuel efficiency of over six miles per gallon. The cost savings to the town over that six-month period has been approximately $17,300. That would equal roughly $34,600 if calculated for an entire year.
The department also reported the amount of greenhouse gas emissions saved over the six-month period as approximately 55.5 metric tons of carbon dioxide.
In Ames, Iowa, the fleet is almost entirely hybrid after a several-year process. According to We Are Iowa, Ames Police Commander Dan Walter initially had apprehension when the process began, wondering whether the hybrid patrol vehicles would operate the same. He said officers are pleased with the new vehicles' performance and reliability.
The Ford Police Interceptor Utility Hybrids cost $3,750 more than their non-hybrid counterparts, but Walter said the department makes up for that with lower fuel costs and fewer oil changes needed. Maintenance repairs are also not needed as frequently, and vehicles can stay in service longer. Walter said the biggest hiccup in the transition process has been delays in getting vehicles outfitted with the right equipment.