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Hybrid Car Review

Friday, March 31, 2006

Despite some resistance to the idea, Des Moines is looking into hybrid technology as a possibility for the future in their police cars.

The Mayor, Frank Cownie, has asked the police to look into the idea of replacing some of the police vehicles with hybrid cars. Most police cars are Crown Victorias, which get about 15 mpg.

But department spokesman Sgt Todd Dykstra was pessimistic about switching to hybrids with concerns about power and speed available to hybrid vehicles. It seems he was also concerned about reliability.

"You have to understand that patrol cars run 24/7," he said. "They have to be dependable and relied on."

Cars used by parking meter officers, might lend themselves to being switched over, however. Sheriff officials in Marion County, Fla., for example, use Toyota Prius hybrid vehicles to deliver subpoenas and run administrative errands. Cownie acknowledges the plan to covert to hybrids would be a multi-year process.

Read the whole story in the DesMoines Register.

My problem with this story may be the lack of understanding about hybrid technology. Hybrid cars can be more more powerful than their counterparts (see Hybrid Myth #6). The Prius may not lend itself to police chases, but that doesn't mean the Ford Escape hybrid wouldn't be a good choice for a town looking for an SUV to be used in its police fleet.

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