Porter County Sheriff's new marked and unmarked squad cars

Porter County Sheriff's Office fleet goes hybrid

Contributed By:The 411 News

Expects to reduce fuel costs by $90,000 a year

Valparaiso -- Eleven new police cruisers with gasoline and battery-powered engines make the Porter County Sheriff’s Office one of the first law enforcement agencies in the state of Indiana to adopt the hybrid technology for its entire fleet.

The Ford Police Interceptor Hybrid SUVs, acquired with the assistance of funds from the Indiana Office of Energy Development’s Indiana Rural Energy Innovation grant program, will reduce harmful emissions, save taxpayer dollars and increase investments in renewable, domestic fuels.

“The Porter County Sheriff’s Office has always taken pride in being proactive and progressive regarding public safety and the use of technology,” Sheriff David Reynolds said.

Law enforcement vehicles often idle during an officer’s shift. The hybrid squads, purchased from Lake Shore Motors in Burns Harbor, allow the on-board electrical equipment to be powered using the lithium-ion hybrid battery, shutting off the gasoline engine which then runs only intermittently to charge the battery.

The new vehicles will save taxpayers annually in fuel costs by using 38% less fuel and saving 44,622 gallons of gasoline per year over traditional gasoline vehicles. According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Greenhouse Gas Equivalencies Calculator, the savings equal the greenhouse gas emission reductions of removing 85 passenger vehicles from the road for one year.

“Last year, we spent approximately $200,000 for fuel,” Reynolds said. “A full fleet of hybrids will save almost $90,000 a year. These vehicles will provide better performance and efficiency than the gasoline-powered model without sacrificing operational capability. In addition to the gas savings, the reduction in carbon dioxide emissions was important in making the change.”

The Sheriff’s Office will fuel the vehicles with E15 from Valparaiso-based Family Express to further reduce emissions from the gasoline engines. E15 is a renewable, domestic fuel containing 15% ethanol, which is produced in Indiana.

South Shore Clean Cities wrote the successful grant application and serves as project manager for the alternative fuel vehicle program.

Story Posted:07/20/2020

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