The Northern Illinois University police department's vehicle fleet has transformed itself over the last few years from a standard Crown Vic dominated fleet into a fuel sipping fleet consisting of Toyota Prius hybrids. The NIU police started testing hybrids in 2004, and now hybrids make up eighty percent of the total fleet of vehicles. This has saved 4,500 gallons of fuel for fiscal year 2005 alone. The officers using the hybrids seem to have really warmed up to using them as well. Officer Marc Roocaforte, a supporter of the Crown Victoria police car, warmed up to the Prius quickly, calling it "the perfect car for the job."
The Crown Victoria police cars average eight to ten miles per gallon, while the Prius replacement is getting forty miles per gallon, which is clearly leading to financial savings for the university. In 2005 alone, the switch to the Prius saved an estimated total of $15,828 in fuel costs. While the Prius can not keep up with the Crown Victoria as far as acceleration is concerned, this is not seen as a handicap for the model as high-speed chases are becoming a thing of the past.

[Source: NorthernStar Online]


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