ATHENS, OHIO – Athens might purchase a hybrid SUV to replace the Athens Police Department’s unmarked vehicle. The new vehicles would get two times the gas mileage than an alternative SUV, according to

The hybrid Ford Escape costs about $24,000 while the Ford Explorer costs about $19,000. The hybrid Ford Escape would save the city about $1,400 in gasoline for every 15,000 miles driven, according to comparisons on

The hybrid Ford Escape, which gets 32 miles per gallon, uses about 10 barrels of oil less than the Ford Explorer, which gets 14 miles per gallon in the city, according to

The city also plans to spend about $56,000 for two Ford Crown Victoria cars to replace two of the Athens Police Department’s marked police cars. Although the cars cost about $23,000 each, they need add-on such as sirens, racks to hold police weapons, a radio console, and strobe lights.

Athens City Council must meet an April deadline to save about $10,000 through a U.S. General Services Administration grant.

One of the largest environmental concerns that Athens faces involves carbon emissions. The City plans to create a “green fleet” policy to encourage purchasing hybrid vehicles for the city.