I wonder how the Nissan Altima hybrids are holding up. The Ford Fusion seems awful small, especially for a 2 officer car. I'm not against more fuel efficient vehicles in jurisdictions where high speed or long distances aren't neccessary, but I wonder how a hybrid car deals with the electric pull of lightbars, sirens, computers and whatever else they cram into the cars.
No one will know how well hybrids will work in the field until they actually get some in the field and rack up some empirical evidence. For urban, stop & go traffic, long periods of idling, or whatever hybrids do when standing still, they may work out just fine. I'd think they could be ideal detective and admin cars. For a car to be a "good" urban car, it needs to be able to take a beating, performance is secondary to endurance.
Until Tesla makes a cruiser, i doubt there will be alternative energy highway or rural patrol cars given their limited top end, but actually, for droning down the Interstate, they could work well there, too.
Heard a presentation from the NYPD fleet mgmt supervisor today.
The Altimas have held up reasonably well. Lost 2 to crashes. (approx 50 to start with, I think?)
The think like the Fusion a little better. They are using them in regular patrol also. He said MOST of the feedback from the officers has been excellent. They're doubling their fuel mileage and not losing any real functionality.
Their maintenance costs have been lower than Impala/CV.
They're using Prius for parking enforcement.
They didn't get many of the Escape hybrids b/c the Air Conditioning compressor is run with a belt of the motor... so for the A/C to work... it can never go into hybrid mode. The motor must always run if the A/C is switched on.