• May 2nd 2009 at 5:33PM
  • 18
The New York Police Department has just put its first alternative drive vehicles into patrol service with the arrival of 40 new Nissan Altima Hybrids. The department has assigned 18 of the Altimas as marked patrol cars while the rest are on unmarked duty. The new cars are being deployed in various areas of the city where the hybrids could be most beneficial. Previously, the department only used hybrid vehicles for duties such as parking enforcement as well as 10 GMC Yukon hybrids used by duty captains. The patrol cars bring the total hybrid fleet for the NYPD to 170 units.

At $25,391 the Altimas cost about $1,500 more than a Chevy Impala but they get twice the urban mileage at 35 mpg compared to the 16 mpg for the Chevy. The department also uses a variety of other vehicles including the traditional Ford Crown Victorias and the newer Dodge Chargers. The patrol cars will be evaluated for a year before the department decides whether to expand the use of hybrids for this use.

[Source: New York City Police Department]


Nissan Altimas are First Hybrid Cars Deployed for NYPD Patrol

Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg and Police Commissioner Raymond W. Kelly today deployed 40 Nissan Altima Hybrids as the first alternative fuel vehicles to be used as marked and unmarked patrol cars in the Police Department's fleet. The Altima Hybrids have been assigned to areas of the city where their fuel efficiency presents the greatest economic and environmental benefit – both in precincts with a large coverage area and smaller precincts prone to heavy stop-and-go traffic. The 40 hybrid vehicles, 18 marked and 22 unmarked, will be used in patrol precincts and other units in all five boroughs. The hybrid Altimas are partially funded by the intra-agency Energy Conservation Steering Committee, created by Executive Order signed by Mayor Bloomberg in 2007 and chaired by Deputy Mayor for Operations Edward Skyler.

"These new patrol cars will help fulfill the PlaNYC goal of reducing City government's carbon footprint," said Mayor Bloomberg. "Through savings in fuel, these Altimas can quickly cover their additional cost, from then they will save taxpayers money – another example of how going green is good for our environment and our pocketbooks."

"The NYPD embraces innovation when it doesn't compromise performance or safety to our personnel and the public," said Commissioner Kelly. "We want to get the most mileage out of technology where it makes sense – with the addition of these hybrids, we're doing that literally."

While the Altima hybrids are the first alternate fuel vehicles to be used as regular police cars, the NYPD already uses hybrid vehicles in its parking enforcement fleet as well as electric scooters. The Police Department also has 10 GMC Yukon Hybrid SUVs employed by NYPD Duty Captains for marked patrol. Additionally, police officers utilize T-3 personal movers in city parks, stadiums and beaches. The Nissan Altima Hybrids account for 40 of over 100 total hybrid vehicles the Department is expected to deploy this year.

The Nissan Altima Hybrids were acquired earlier this year following evaluation and testing by the Police Department's Fleet Services Division and Driver Training Unit. At $25,391 per vehicle, the Altima hybrids cost about $1,500 more than the conventional Impala. At 35 miles per gallon for city driving, the hybrid Altima gets double the gas mileage of the Impala, which gets only 16 miles per gallon. The Altima hybrids, manufactured in Smyrna, Tennessee and outfitted with equipment specialized for patrol, will be used in addition to the Chevrolet Impala and the Ford Crown Victoria. The Department also uses Dodge Chargers, mainly for highway patrol. As with all hybrid technology vehicles, the Altima switches between gasoline engine and electric motor. After a year of monitoring the vehicles performance the Department will determine whether to further expand them into the fleet. The Nissan Altima Hybrids will bring to over 170 the total number of hybrid vehicles the Department is expected to deploy this year.

In July 2008, Mayor Bloomberg put forth a long-term action plan to achieve the PlaNYC goal of reducing energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions from the City's municipal buildings and operations by 30 percent by 2017. The long-term plan, available on nyc.gov, is a comprehensive guide to reducing the City's carbon footprint, through making City buildings more efficient, improving preventative maintenance, capturing energy potential at wastewater treatment plants, and more. To meet its 30 percent reduction goal by 2017, the City must produce 1.68 million fewer metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalents (CO2e) annually compared with 2006 levels. This will be achieved through an aggressive capital improvement program for the City's facilities, and significant enhancements to its current operations and maintenance practices. The projects in the long-term plan, including the purchase of some of the Nissan Altima hybrids, will be partially funded by an annual commitment of 10 percent of the City's energy budget, which in fiscal year 2009 is $100 million. City government accounts for approximately 6.5 percent of New York City's total energy usage and 10 percent of its peak electricity demand.

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 6 Years Ago
      Also, NYPD could buy the flex-fuel Ford Crown Victorias that are now in production & convert their existing fleet to use E85 with a Flex-fuel conversion kit & switch to recycled Eco-Power Motor Oil. This would reduce their carbon footprint immensely.
        • 6 Years Ago
        You are correct. The Flex fuel model is actually the better car in a police duty cycle and this is a publicity stunt.
        The press release says that the altima is an alternate fuel vehicle, but it is not. It is still running on conventional gas and while electricity is an alternate fuel, this is not a plug-in model so the electricity is only recuperated under braking you can not 'fill' it on your own.
        If this were a plug in hybrid, that makes more sense for patrol because the car is just cruising around the neighborhood and is an emergency response vehicle. This way the car is really maximizing the time it spends in electric mode and is optimized for and minimizes the engine use. (the forthcoming series hybrids will maximize this)
        The altima as a patrol car should hopefully meet their patrol car requirements, because if it must transport people in the back, hopefully there is enough room - the bane of mid-size sedans. That is the problem with the impala's too - they do not have enough room for passengers in back when the car is fitted with the police interior. The crown vic has the most room, but Ford is discontinuing them.
        The article also does not point out the pricing differences between what the NYPD is paying and what you would pay if you wanted to emulate them. Police do not pay what regular people pay for their cars. The fleets get a fleet discount and typically the hybrids are not discounted. The discount in the original purchase price more than offsets the additional gas use and in practice the hybrid does not save any money in gas anyway since it is optimized for suburban non-highway use, not dense urban use where there is not enough braking to charge the battery back enough causing the engine to run more than optimal.
        So, the impala's are considerably cheaper and get an order of magnitude better mileage when not running on E10:
        The altima according to the article gets 35 mpg on gas with the battery systems running.
        The impala gets 102 mpg on gas with the tank 85% filled with ethanol.
        That is the 'on paper' calculation. Real world use varies (the local city fleet here gets 26mpg on a tank of E10 in their impalas and 19mpg E10 in their prius')
        • 6 Years Ago
        I'm guessing it's less about emissions and more about spending less on gasoline. Plus the flex fuel get's awful fuel economy, I don't care if the ethanol is cheaper.

        I thought the whole reasoning of buying a V8 was for the power. What now?
      • 6 Years Ago
      If the millage did stay at 13mpg the manual US gasoline usage will have go in 1990 to 158 billion gallons. So how that will be better?
      Try to do little math before you write something so the argument look little more convincing.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Guys... the Ford Fusion Hybrid is literally *just* out. When a police department or other fleet decides to pick a vehicle, it takes time to evaluate the vehicle, and make sure it has suitable space, performance, etc for their uses.

      For example, the New York City taxis took almost a year before they settled on the Camry Hybrid for similar reasons.

      The Nissan was probably picked at the time because it was roomier than the Camry, got better mileage and was overall sportier.

      Give it time. The Fusion is an excellent choice for fleet vehicles like this, and I would not be surprised if 6 months from now, we'll be seeing the Fusion Hybrid in more police fleets.
      • 6 Years Ago
      This is idiotic. Spend gobs more money for fashionable but pointless hybrid tech while still being unnecessarily locked in to filthy, planet-fouling, economy-wrecking petroleum as your vehicle fuel?

      When for FAR less you could get an American-made car that uses CLEAN-burning ethanol fuel that is reasonably priced on a permanent basis (not just during a crash), can't have its market "cornered" and the price jacked up by a sinister foreign cartel, and doesn't fund Holocaust denial, hate propaganda, terrorism, and (indirectly but in a very real way) the Iranian nuclear weapon program?

      E85 availability would not be a concern for fleet vehicles like cop cars which are fueled at a secure central location that could just as well dispense alternative fuel (as many do).

      Hybrid tech is pointless because merely reducing petroleum use per car is ineffective. Average MPGs went up from 13 to 20 from 1976 to 1990 but gasoline use went up from 89 billion gallons a year to 103 in that same timeframe.

      • 5 Years Ago
      Japanese Police has gotten a hybrid police car too.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Hybrid or not, it's smart to split police vehicle purchases into two groups, patrol cars and pursuit cars. Having every single police car designed for a high speed chase and transporting suspects in custody is a ridiculous duplication of resources. If you get involved in a situation where you need a larger vehicle, call for one on the radio. Police departments should buy more small cars, which are cheaper and use less gas and allow for the hiring of more police officers.
      • 6 Years Ago
      I am not sure if American car is still call American by any means. How much it is American: 50% 60%? I see that most of you people have very little understanding about manufacturing. Most of the material and component used in manufacturing, unfortunately, are not from United State of America. The stamping " Made in US" on the component that are made outside of US is well known in most industry. In most cases only quality control is performed in US.
      So are American cars American?
      Buy the way, that not only apply to car industry, that also apply to military industry.
      If we start right now war with China we will fail not because of the quality of the military equipment (it is really top notch), we will fail due to lack of spear parts, a specially if the conflict will last longer than expected. That why US military planers only plan short decisive conflict.

      We destroy over last 20-30 years the manufacturing base, and to restore in an emergency situation we will need at list 10 yeas to rebuild that.
      In WWII we could switch so fast to military production because the materials and component manufacturing was in US. The specialist were here too. Right now we do not even own most of the technology to do that. That a sad story for US.

      Somebody put argument, that at list the profit stay in US. If the profit is sheared between the CEO and rest of the shear holders that are the richest from the reaches. They do not think about US as there country, or by the same token any other country, they legions are green bags nothing els.
      Non of them are patriots they still and cheat this country left and right, so you can forget that average Joy will benefit on that.

      Somebody mentions E85 fuel; and come from you like to get the ethanol? Corn? Are you aware that farmers getting government handout (tax payer money) to lower the price of ethanol from corn.
      Ethanol is more expensive to produce then gasoline. Remember the food price spike last year. That was result of redirecting food to fuel.

      Are you aware that ethanol have lower energy content, and that mean lower millage. Only specially design engine can take advantage of ethanol high octane (130) to offset the energy loss. Normally aspirated engine can only take advantage from one type of fuel. You need variable compression to accommodate multi fuel in standard Otto cycle engine. That not simple cheap to do. The multi fuel vehicle that are on the market now, are nothing more just regular cars that use fuel lines that are rust proof (ethanol is very corrosive). You can do true multi fuel diesel (military vehicle), but that totally a different story.

      The Ford Fusion Hybrid will be very good alternative to Altima(once the production will be available in sufficient quantity), but judging from the real sit space Altima is better choose. Honda Accord is better than both of them, in terms of space in front and back. But no hybrid any more. So forget that.

      You will be surprise how small number of cars have good rear sit entrance and overall space that will be useful for Police duty (that apply to domestic as well as foreign passenger cars).
      I could personally experience that on the recent visit in New York Auto Show

      I do not think that government agencies getting any brake in taxes from government to purchase hybrid cars. Government do not pay taxes.
      Another problem what you do with the car if the manufacture will go for some reason under (like GM and Chrysler may do). So how do you plan for that? The planers definitely have to have that in there mind.

      So that my 2c
      • 6 Years Ago
      I've always figured cops would have plenty of use for a car they could crawl around in silently at slow speeds.

      As for patriotism, it's not what your country can do for you, it's what you can do for your country. Let Ford be patriotic by making a better, more competitive, more available car for America's police departments than Nissan can instead of pulling the pity play.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Andy, I completely disagree. You sound bitter from a bad previous purchase of an older American car. While I don't disagree that the Big Three have had a long history of making sub-par compact and subcompact vehicles, their larger class vehicles have always been on par for quality and maintenance history. Now, they are beginning to "get the hint" and are starting to produce cars that compete at the world level. As for where the Nissan is assembled, that's almost irrelevant. Most of the company profits (after labor and infrastructure) goes back to Japan (after all, Nissan IS Japanese). Why not keep more (if not all) of the company profits in an AMERICAN company?

        The Ford Fusion has been evaluated time and time again by many well known car enthusiast magazines, with stellar write ups. I absolutely agree with all of the previous posts that we as Americans have the responsibility for doing well by our country first and foremost! New York City, as a governing body, should know all too well that we are in a financial crisis, and should invest their tax dollars in American companies! As for product availability, if any of the Big Three were approached with offers to buy fleet cars in quantity, I am sure they would more than gladly meet the demands.
      • 6 Years Ago
      I completely agree. Why not a Fusion Hybrid? This is America!

      The Fusion Hybrid starts at 23,870 after the $3,400 tax break making it cheaper than the Altima too.

      I really don't understand this move at all.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Regardless where the car is made, this move doesn't seem very American, does it? But maybe we are being unfair, what cars do the police use in Japan?
        • 6 Years Ago
        Funny you should say "American" car. Out of that $25K how much actually stays here in the US?

        Time to assemble a car is about 18 hours for a fully modern efficient Japanese assembly plant. Let's give Nissan the full industry average of 20 hours. Nissan is paying under $20 and hour to start and topping out under $30 after 5 years. Even if American workers did all the work (robots? who uses robots?) that would be about $400-600 of labor. Not much eh?

        Luckily for Nissan the Altima has a 55% Domestic Content so a good portion of the parts are made here. The question is if Nissan or other foreign companies own the parts makers where is the money actually ending up? More than likely a good portion leaves the US. Hey, a little is better than none right? And the cars are cheaper than Impalas!

        Sorry but that excuse don't wash for me. Since it is just about economics do you see German police driving Japanese cars? Or Japanese police driving Chinese cars?

        I hate to sound like a "Patriotic" fool but if it is good enough for them why isn't it good enough for Americans? Most other nations have a strong "Patriotic" mindset. Why is it not more common in the USA?

        Nissan Altima is listed as having 55% Domestic Content. Nissan has two plants in USA. They directly employ 13,000 or 4.2% of US Auto Workers and 56% of the cars/truck sold in the USA are made in USA with an average Domestic Content of 37%..
        • 6 Years Ago
        edit: cheaper than the Altima AND the Impala.

        Not to mention it gets even better efficiency than the Nissan.

        A for effort but F for execution.
        • 6 Years Ago
        The Altima is assembled in Smyrna Tennessee. The Fusion is assembled in Hermosillo, Mexico. Since April 1, the tax credit for the Fusion has dropped to $1,700 as it is being phased out because Ford has sold more than 60,000 hybrids. That puts the base price $25,570 (27,270 - 1,700). The tax credit on the Altima is $2,350 and the base price is $2,4300 ($26,650 - 2,350).

        As much as I prefer the Fusion, the Altima is actually the American made car and it remains cheaper at this point.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Why not use the American made hybrid car that Ford makes? They are about the same size and I would think the people of New York would rather their tax dollars go to American vehicles, as almost all other patrol cars are. I'm sure Ford would give them a good deal on a few Fuzion hybrids right now :)
        • 6 Years Ago
        The Ford Fusion and Mercury Milan hybrids are next to impossible to get. The dealers say that they are receiving maybe one per month. To order one the current delivery schedule is October.

        This could be part of the reason that NYC is evaluating product that is actually available.
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