Cops Save $3K a Year with Anti-Idling Technology for Police Cruisers

police car photo

Photo: Flickr, CC
Update: New Ford Police Interceptor 25% More Fuel Efficient Than Crown Vic, No V8 Option
Police cars are often left idling because if you stop the engine, you run the risk of having all the electronics and lights drain the battery. But all this idling comes at a cost in wasted gasoline, unnecessary air pollution, and even increased theft risk. So what can be done? Well, it's pretty simple: You add modify the cars so they have enough electrical power stored to be able to run all the systems with the engine off. Read on for more details.
independence package police car image

Saving Money & Reducing Pollution
Energy Xtreme is a company that makes just such a system. They call it by a fancy name (The Independence Package), but it's more or less a battery pack that is specially designed to fit well in a police cruiser's trunk, and it has been toughened up to withstand gunshots.

$3.1k per Car per Year
They write:

The Independence Package easily installs in the trunk of a police cruiser where it uses minimal space and can power the car's entire electrical system - including the lights, radio, laptop and camera - for up to four hours at a time. The Independence Package automatically recharges while the car is being driven and also can provide engine ignition power in case of a dead engine battery. [...]

The DPD used the Independence Package for an average of 4.85 hours per day over a 30-day period. Assuming 300 work days per year, a gas price of $3.26 per gallon and 0.75 gallons of gas burned per hour while the vehicle idles, the department is saving $11.86 per day in fuel costs and an astounding $3,131 per year per vehicle.

Overall emissions are also greatly reduced by using the Independence Package instead of the car's regular gasoline-powered engine. The Dallas Police Department is eliminating an estimated 72.75 pounds of carbon dioxide emissions per vehicle per day.

That's pretty impressive! Of course law enforcement vehicles are a special case because they have so much more electronics and lights than regular cars, but this just highlights how much we need anti-idling (aka stop-start) system in all vehicles. There's usually no reason to keep the engine running if the car isn't moving (with exceptions that can be planned for, like very cold weather).

Via Energy Xtreme, BusinessWire
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