2009-05-08 / Community

Cops Get New Hybrid Police Cruisers

Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg and Police Commissioner Raymond W. Kelly have deployed 40 Nissan Altima Hybrids as the first alternative fuel vehicles to be used as marked and unmarked patrol cars in the Police Department's fleet.

The Altima Hybrids have been assigned to areas of the city where their fuel efficiency presents the greatest economic and environmental benefit - both in precincts with a large coverage area and smaller precincts prone to heavy stop-and-go traffic. The 40 hybrid vehicles, 18 marked and 22 unmarked, will be used in patrol precincts and other units in all five boroughs. The hybrid Altimas are partially funded by the intra-agency Energy Conservation Steering Committee, created by Executive Order signed by Mayor Bloomberg in 2007 and chaired by Deputy Mayor for Operations Edward Skyler.

"These new patrol cars will help fulfill the PlaNYC goal of reducing City government's carbon footprint," said Mayor Bloomberg. "Through savings in fuel, these Altimas can quickly cover their additional cost, from then [on] they will save taxpayers money - another example of how going green is good for our environment and our pocketbooks."

The new hybrid police cars in action. The new hybrid police cars in action. "The NYPD embraces innovation when it doesn't compromise performance or safety to our personnel and the public," said Commissioner Kelly. "We want to get the most mileage out of technology where it makes sense - with the addition of these hybrids, we're doing that literally."

While the Altima hybrids are the first alternate fuel vehicles to be used as regular police cars, the NYPD already uses hybrid vehicles in its parking enforcement fleet as well as electric scooters. The Police Department also has 10 GMC Yukon Hybrid SUVs employed by NYPD Duty Captains for marked patrol. Additionally, police officers utilize T-3 personal movers in city parks, stadiums and beaches. The Nissan Altima Hybrids account for 40 of over 100 total hybrid vehicles the Department is expected to deploy this year.

The Nissan Altima Hybrids were acquired earlier this year following evaluation and testing by the Police Department's Fleet Services Division and Driver Training Unit. At $25,391 per vehicle, the Altima hybrids cost about $1,500 more than the conventional Impala. At 35 miles per gallon for city driving, the hybrid Altima gets double the gas mileage of the Impala, which gets only 17 miles per gallon. The Altima hybrids, manufactured in Smyrna, Tennessee and outfitted with equipment specialized for patrol, will be used in addition to the Chevrolet Impala and the Ford Crown Victoria. The Department also uses Dodge Chargers, mainly for highway patrol. As with all hybrid technology vehicles, the Altima switches between gasoline engine and electric motor. After a year of monitoring the vehicles' performance the Department will determine whether to further expand them into the fleet. The Nissan Altima Hybrids will bring to over 170 the total number of hybrid vehicles the Department is expected to deploy this year.

It was unclear at press time as to when the two Rockaway precincts, the 100 Precinct in Rockaway Park and the 101 Precinct in Far Rockaway, will get their first hybrids.

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