May 7, 2009 By Elaine Rundle
The New York City Police Department (NYPD) deployed 40 hybrid vehicles to help green its fleet of patrol cars, bringing its number of hybrid vehicles to more than 100. The Nissan Altima Hybrids will be deployed in areas that will obtain the greatest economic and environmental benefit, like precincts with large coverage areas and those that are prone to heavy stop-and-go traffic, according to the department's statement.
The Nissan cars are the first hybrids the NYPD will be using as regular police cars, but it has been using electronic scooters and hybrid cars for its parking enforcement fleet, as well as 10 GMC Yukon Hybrid SUVs that are used by duty captains.
"These new patrol cars will help fulfill the PlaNYC goal of reducing city government's carbon footprint," said Mayor Michael Bloomberg in a statement. "Through savings in fuel, these Altimas can quickly cover their additional cost, from then they will save taxpayers money -- another example of how going green is good for our environment and our pocketbooks."
According to the statement, the new hybrids cost $25,391 each, which is about $1,500 more than the traditional Chevrolet Impalas used by the NYPD. They are partially funded through the city's Energy Conservation Steering Committee.
The hybrid Nissans are expected to average 35 miles per gallon for city driving, which is more than twice as much as the Impalas get at 16 mpg.
The NYPD plans to monitor the cars' efficiency for one year to determine if it wants to further expand the fleet.
"The NYPD embraces innovation when it doesn't compromise performance or safety to our personnel and the public," said NYPD Commissioner Raymond Kelly in a statement. "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."