The New York City Police Department, for the first time ever, has deployed 40 hybrid vehicles as patrol units. The 40 Nissan Altima hybrids, 22 unmarked, 18 marked, will patrol sections of the 5 boroughs of NYC picked specifically to utilize the fuel-efficient benefits of these vehicles. The Altima hybrids, at 35 mpg vs. the 16 mpg or so of the more traditional police cars like the Chevy Impala and the Ford Crown Victoria, can obviously stay on the road a lot longer without need for refueling when compared to it’s non-hybrid counter-parts.
In adopting these hybrid vehicles, the NYPD is doing its part to reduce the carbon emissions inside a relatively closed environment (the city) that already has more than enough smog and pollution problems, and they are also, in the long-run, saving the tax-payers some cash (although that is a bit suspect because the city will almost certainly find some other way to spend the tax money).
This latest utilization of hybrid vehicles, as patrol cars in the largest city in the United States, is perhaps one of the best examples of how far hybrid technology has advanced in the last 5 years or so and how well-accepted it has become. To be fair though, the NYPD is still keeping it’s Dodge Chargers and other muscle cars to patrol the highways. I guess the hybrids just aren’t quite ready for that challenge, yet…I say give them another few years.