Rising gas prices and carbon emissions are fueling a move towards more efficient vehicles, particularly for municipalities, agencies and other entities with large fleets. For instance, we've seen the Hampshire Police in the UK switch to the Lexus GS 450h hybrid sedan for policing duties, and hybrid taxis have begun appearing in New York, to name but two examples. Now, the new Superintendent of the Chicago Police, Jody Weis, would like to replace the department's current "horrible" fleet of Ford Crown Victorias with. . .the Chevy Tahoe.
One question comes to mind. Namely, why would police want to drive large, lumbering and inefficient SUVs?Well, Mr. Weis argues that "With Chicago's rugged winters, a sport-utility vehicle might make more sense than the traditional Ford Crown Victoria," and " an extensive annual test of police vehicles conducted by Michigan State Police and reported in Law and Order magazine in November showed that the police-package Chevrolet Tahoe actually "accelerates, brakes and corners like most police sedans" and has a fuel efficiency estimated to be the same as that of the Crown Victoria."
Okay, but the Crown Victoria only gets about 11 miles per gallon. Granted, Chicago's current fleet is chock full of old, run-down sedans with poor emissions controls. In other words, they are the kind of vehicles that, once sold, will almost certainly make their way to Mexico. If the Chicago Police department weren't already so strapped for cash, they might at least invest in the Chevy Tahoe Hybrid which, at 21 mpg, isn't going to set any records for efficiency, but it was good enough to win the Green Car of the Year award in 2007.
But alas, up-front thinking will almost certainly rear its ugly head again. Someone in charge of the budget will say "we can't afford the hybrid version, it's up-front cost is too high," forgetting that with gas hovering at $4.00 a gallon and rising, it would be a wise investment.
Via: ::Chicago Tribune
See Also: ::Ohio Hybrid Taxi Bill Passed by NY City Council, ::Ohio to Chevy Tahoe Hybrid Drivers: Get Out of the Carpool Lane!, ::MPG Marathon Makes SUV Sip Fuel, ::Americans going Treehugger and Turning in Their SUVs, ::US Car Manufacturers Say Efficiency is Too Expensive, ::Ford Kills 19-Foot Gas-Guzzler Excursion and ::Ford Model U Concept SUV