Plug-Ins and CNG Answer ‘Vital National Security Issue’
￼Indianapolis Mayor Greg Ballard has ordered that all of his city’s light duty non-police vehicles will be either battery or plug-in hybrid electrics by 2025, with heavy fleet vehicles changed over to CNG. He’s looking for automakers to step up and develop a plug-in police car, too.
updated December 19
“The United States’ current transportation energy model, driven by oil, exacts an enormous cost financially and in terms of strategic leverage,” Ballard said in a speech last week before the Greater Indianapolis Progress Committee. “Our oil dependence in some cases places the fruits of our labor into the hands of dictators united against the people of the United States.”
The problem, he said, is “so grievous that future historians will look back at our time and ask, ‘What were they thinking?’”
Wanted: the World’s First Plug-In Hybrid Police Vehicle
Among the steps outlined by the Mayor, the city fleet of approximately 500 non-police fleet cars will be replaced, as needed, “saving taxpayers approximately $12,000 per vehicle over the ten-year life cycle of each car.”
“The next step involves the purchasing of snow plows, trash trucks and even fire trucks that run on compressed natural gas,” the Mayor said. (He cited the example of Monarch Beverage, which is changing to CNG delivery trucks; F&F, December 11.)
“Compressed natural gas costs about $1.50 less per gallon than gasoline,” Ballad said. “Everyone wins. Taxpayers save money…
“And finally, when the technology is ready, the use of electric or plug-in hybrid police cars,” he said. “All told, my goal is for the entire Indianapolis vehicle fleet to run on fuel other than oil by 2025.”
Lots of Local Partners
To make it all happen, the city is working with partner organizations including Energy Systems Network and finance experts. ESN participants include Allison Transmission, Cummins, Delphi, Duke Energy, EnerDel, Indianapolis Power & Light, Navistar, Remy and Toyota.
Mayor Ballard wants new partnerships, “with one or more automakers,” to develop the world’s first plug-in hybrid electric police vehicle. Indianapolis would partner for a plug-in cop car “that meets the safety, power, electronic and range needs of a modern urban police force.”
A fleet of plug-in hybrid electric police cars achieving 40 miles per gallon could save city taxpayers as much as $10 million per year, Ballard says. The city’s current police vehicles average 10 mpg.
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Source: Office of Mayor Greg Ballard with Fleets & Fuels follow-up