ARKADELPHIA, Ark., (January 21, 2016) — On the surface, it’s just an environmental thing: A gas/electric hybrid is going to emit less pollutants than a gasoline-only power train. But it’s also going to use less fuel and get more mpg and at low speeds, it’s quieter than a gasoline engine. Think of it as a “stealth mode” when running only on electric power. For a cop car, that makes it easier to sneak up on the bad guys. These are just a few of the advantages discovered by the Arkadelphia, Arkansas Police Department when they replaced 10 of their aging Crown Victorias with Toyota Camry Hybrids.
At first, “I was dead set against it,” says veteran officer Don Cleek. “To me, a police car’s supposed to be rear wheel drive, V8 and can go through ditches.” In short, he didn’t believe the hybrids would be up to the job. But that didn’t stop city manager Jimmy Bolt from pushing Chief of Police Al Harris to give the Camry Hybrids a try. After a few months in the field, it was pretty clear: The hybrids were doing every bit as well on the job as the Crown Vics. What’s more, they were getting about 27 mpg in all-city driving (compared to about 12 to 14 mpg on the Crown Vics) AND thanks to the fuel savings and much lower maintenance costs, the city of Arkadelphia was saving itself about 3% of its annual budget. In short, even Officer Cleek now agrees it’s a lot easier to be an environmentalist when you’re catching the crooks and saving money to boot!
You can see the whole story for yourself in a new short documentary by filmmaker Peter Byck, director of 2011’s Carbon Nation. Click here to watch the film. To learn more about Toyota’s Hybrid Technology, visit the Toyota display this week at the Washington, DC Auto Show, January 22-31, 2016, at the Washington Convention Center.
About Peter Byck
Peter Byck is a Professor of Practice at Arizona State University’s School of Sustainability and Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication. He’s directed 2 award-winning documentaries: Carbon Nation, 2011, IVCA Clarion Award; and Garbage, 1996, Best Documentary, South By Southwest Film Festival. www.carbonnation.tv
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