HELENA – The Helena Police Department recently rolled out a new hybrid patrol car on the streets of the Capital City.
The vehicle is a field test for the police department to evaluate potential cost savings on fuel, because police cars do spend a lot of their lifespan idling.
The car looks very similar to a normal police vehicle, but the car will switch from gas to electric when it needs to. The hope is to quickly recoup the vehicle costs in fuel savings by eliminating most idle times, and save money in the long haul for the citizens of Helena.
"They're about a $3,000 option extra, so we're paying that additional $3,000 roughly to get the hybrid, but Ford is claiming that you may be able to see the savings on fuel in just one year from that and make up that $3,000,” says Lieutenant, Jayson Zander.
The car has about 1,800 miles on it right now, and the police department has only had it for about two months, but they say they have seen a five to seven mile per gallon increase.
The police department isn’t sure if they will switch to an entire hybrid system, but they did order two more cars to test out.