Location: Fredericksburg, VA Fleet Type: Municipal Police Fleet
The City of Fredericksburg commissioned Virginia Clean Cities (VCC) to examine the benefits of switching to a hybrid fleet. The annual police patrol vehicle mileage ranges from 6,533 to 8,327. The Police Department’s fuel costs average is $1.53 per gallon for gasoline while electricity is 9.7 cents per kWh with very low volatility due to Virginia’s regulated electricity sector. For comparison, $0.10 per kWh equals about $1.00 per gallon of gasoline.
VCC found that when running air conditioning and heat, the cars benefit from an idle-reduction strategy. In a hybrid vehicle, the engine programming allows the engine to idle less because the battery can power the police radio, computer, climate control, and other functions that keep a gasoline car’s engine running when the vehicle is stationary. The average patrol vehicle consumes 663 gallons of gasoline annually, half of which is consumed while idling. VCC found that the 39 patrol vehicles idling generate 138 tons of CO2, consumes more than 13,833 gallons of gasoline and costs the department $21,165 in fuel expenses.
The study also found that a significant reduction in greenhouse gas emissions, petroleum use, and air pollutants is possible from transitioning to an electric or gas-hybrid fleet. The replacement of gasoline vehicles with hybrid vehicles results in an estimated 62% lifetime reduction in petroleum use and a 62% lifetime reduction in greenhouse gas emissions from these vehicles
Outputs & Outcomes
The Police Department’s efforts to have a green fleet stemmed from City Council’s vision for a Green, Clean Environment (2036 Vision) and their 2019 100% Renewable Energy Resolution. In 2019, they committed to the goal of powering municipal operations with 100% renewable energy by 2035 or earlier.
Last summer, the Fredericksburg Police Department introduced three hybrid patrol vehicles into their fleet, and the reaction from the police force has been positive. There are plans to purchase more hybrid patrol vehicles in the future. Each hybrid police vehicle will reduce emissions in patrol areas of Fredericksburg where these vehicles operate.
Best Practices & Lessons Learned
Police fleet vehicles present a unique challenge and opportunity for electrification due to their duty cycle and operational needs.
Supply chain issues significantly delayed the delivery of hybrid Police Interceptors for 12 months.