Austin city officials have approved a 36-month supply contract with Energy Xtreme LLC to purchase, integrate, test, and maintain an anti-idling/alternate power system for 80 police vehicles.

The solution from Energy Xtreme will provide enough power to operate necessary electronics equipment in the patrol vehicles (such as digital video cameras, mobile data computers, lights, etc.) without running the engine. It must provide enough power for up to four hours of operation after a driver turns off the engine. The solution's purpose is to reduce fuel consumption and emissions from idling.

The cost is $2.12 million for all 497 police vehicles in the fleet, though the city plans to roll out this program for 80 vehicles at first. The contract also specifies that this technology could be installed in an additional 75 units in the police fleet (in case of fleet expansion) and 20 units for vehicles operated by the Austin Fire Department and the Emergency Medical Services Department, depending on whether funding is available in future years.

By Greg Basich