COLUMBUS, OHIO – Officials are revving up a plan to replace many of the state’s mid-size sedans with the more fuel-efficient Ford Focus, according to The move is expected to save taxpayers $242,000 in the first year.

The plan is to slowly overhaul Ohio’s fleet — at about 2,700 vehicles plus State Highway Patrol cruisers and the state’s construction equipment — eliminating midsize sedans like the Chevy Impala for the smaller Focus. Savings will be netted by a lower purchase price as well as fuel savings. A Focus costs about $12,000 and gets 28 miles per gallon, compared with the $16,000 Impala, which gets about 21 mpg.

Currently, about 90 percent of the state’s pool vehicles are mid-size cars, while compact cars make up only about six percent. State officials believe they will buy about 350 vehicles this year, with as many as half of them Focuses, according to

The new plan requires that state agencies have detailed explanations for why they need midsize cars instead of the Focus.