Twenty hybrid propane-powered patrol cars operated by the Raleigh (N.C.) Police Department have resulted in savings of more than $22,000, according to a report given to the City Council in July. Additionally, the installation of Energy Xtreme Battery Systems, which shuts off the engines of idling patrol vehicles, on 29 vehicles is projected to save $63,000 in fuel costs, according to a city release.
In April, the city used an Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant to install the anti-idling devices. The system allows the police cruiser's full electrical system—including lights, onboard camera, computer, and radio—to be operated without having to turn on the vehicle's engine. The anti-idling device can power the vehicle’s electrical system for at least four continuous hours, and automatically recharges while the automobile is being driven. The life of each of the devices is five years.
The police department has four mechanics certified to install the Energy Xtreme Battery Systems.
Additionally, use of propane autogas for 20 police vehicles has resulted in fuel savings. Last August, the police department placed into service 10 vehicles that had been converted to propane, converted with a grant from the Triangle Clean Cities Coalition. Since then, 10 additional patrol cars have been switched to propane. The last 10 hybrid police vehicles were funded by a federal Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant and placed into service in May.
The 20 hybrid propane-powered patrol cars have been driven 162,436 miles, using 22,592 gallons of propane and displacing the use of 20,333 gallons of gasoline, according to the report given to the City Council. Fuel cost savings have amounted to $22,270, the report said. The dual-fuel vehicles can also run on gasoline or E-85 ethanol fuel.
The police department operates a propane fueling station, and city's Vehicle Fleet Services Division is certified to convert vehicles to propane and perform repairs on these vehicles.