The Elgin Police Department considered integrating natural gas vehicles into its fleet, but the lack of infrastructure led them to different vehicles according to Elgin Police Commander Dan O’Shea.
“We looked into doing natural gas but there are no service stations around here yet. If those fueling stations pop up that will be something we can consider in the future,” O’Shea said.
The department also considered hybrid vehicles, but concerns of whether the battery charge would be able to keep up with the amount of equipment in the investigative vehicles came up.
“With the amount of add-ons in technology to the car, it would drain the battery,” O'Shea said.
When looking into different models, weather was also a major consideration.
“In Chicago we have a lot of rain and a lot of snow so the all-wheel drive is an important feature,” O’Shea said.
The fleet has been testing a variety of cars after production of the Crown Victoria stopped. O’Shea said if all goes according to plan, all remaining Crown Victoria cars will be replaced by the Ford all-wheel-drive Police Interceptors within two years.
The City Council approved the spending of $171,267 to buy the six unmarked police vehicles to replace the older ones in its fleet. There are 130 vehicles total in the department’s fleet. More than half of the vehicles are marked cars.