Photo courtesy of City of Long Beach.

Photo courtesy of City of Long Beach.

The City of Long Beach (Calif.) has begun testing whether it could assign gasoline-electric hybrids to police commanders as a strategy for lowering fuel costs in the police department, the city's fleet manager told Government Fleet.

By replacing the entire fleet of vehicles used by command staff and detectives, the city could save more than $100,000 per year in fuel costs, according to Dan Berlenbach, fleet manager.

"As we work toward a more sustainable fleet for the city, one of our more challenging goals is to green the police fleet," Berlenbach said. "This use of hybrids for unmarked police use can take us a long way toward that goal."

The city has been using Ford Crown Victoria Police Interceptor sedans for most of its police fleet, but has begun replacing these vehicles. When Ford discontinued the CVPI in 2011, the city stockpiled these vehicles, but that stockpile has been depleted, Berlenbach said.

Photo courtesy of City of Long Beach.

Photo courtesy of City of Long Beach.

The fleet management unit refers to the unmarked, non-pursuit vehicles as "solids" because of their single color rather than the black-and-white paint jobs given to marked pursuit vehicles.

Long Beach’s Fleet Services Supervisor Sean VanDeVen lead the effort to upfit three 2015 Ford Fusion Hybrid sedans with the electronics and lighting installation performed in-house. The new cars will be rotated through the police department's command staff for testing.

The EPA has rated the Fusion Hybrid sedans at 44 mpg city, 41 mpg highway, and 42 mpg combined.

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