Police are really starting to feel the crunch when it comes to budgeting for fuel (link goes to story in Athens, Ohio and how they are dealing with the gas prices). Other police departments are ordering hybrid cars in an effort to cut down on fuel costs. Not everyone feels hybrid cars can make it as police cars, but the other choices aren't great.
In a six month pilot project, six Toyota Camry Hybrids are taking the streets as patrol cars in Honolulu. The intent is to test out the concept and see whether the extra cost for the hybrid can be made up in fuel savings. (Source: HPD Gets Hybrid Patrol Cars | KHON2.com)
The test vehicles were purchased using federal money.
The cops expect to save tremendously on fuel. The Crown Vics they currently use get 10-15 mpg, while they expect the hybrids to get 30+ mpg.
An important consideration since the police dept use 133-thousand gallons of gas each month.
Photo from flickr by geognerd.