New York City’s finest, as that great city’s police department likes to sell itself, is turning over a bit of a green leaf, with the announcement a few days ago that it is to take delivery of dozens of petrol-electric plug-in hybrid police cars. The New York Police Department will be receiving 50 Chevrolet Volt electric vehicles.
The Chevy Volts are part of 70 electric cars the city of New York is purchasing, thanks to the green efforts of Mayor Michael Bloomberg. The city is also buying 10 Ford Transit Connect electric vans and 10 Navistar eStar electric utility trucks.
With the acquisition of these 70 new vehicles, New York City will be the proud owner of a total fleet of 430 electric vehicles. The EVs were partly funded with grants provided by the New York Power Authority and the USA’s Department of Energy.
The new police Volts, resplendent in their new blue-on-white official liveries, were presented at a press conference. Mayor Bloomberg said that the announcement represented the biggest-ever addition of EVs to New York City’s fleet. He added that the city would continue leading by example.
The city already owns a fleet of electric golf carts and scooters. A number of hybrid vehicles, such as the Toyota Prius, are also on its fleet.
According to reports, however, we won’t be seeing electric police cars involved in high-speed pursuits around The Big Apple. The Chevy Volts will be tasked with the same assignments as the NYPD’s other hybrid police cars – on traffic duty, handling traffic jams and making sure the NYC’s all-important parking tickets are being dished out.
New York City also recently acquired Nissan’s NV200 compact van to replace the old Ford Crown Victoria saloons that had become a trademark sight across Manhattan. As futuristic as the NV200 looks, however, it’s still not a truly green vehicle, and uses a small four-cylinder petrol engine.
The NV200 offers considerably more interior space than the old yellow ‘Crown Vic’, which is also famous as once having been an ubiquitous sight in police colours, not just in New York City but in cities and towns across the continent. It needs that petrol engine, however, because taxis cover a lot of ground every day.
The city is planning to test a small number of electric-power NV200 vans as taxis in order to gauge the practicality of using EVs for New York’s taxi services. One day, it could be quite something to see electric yellow taxis plying the same streets once filled with Checker Cabs.
The new police Chevy Volts can only manage 35 miles in all-electric mode on a single charge but as they’ll mostly be parked while the long arm of the law writes up expensive tickets and leans across to stuff them under windscreen wipers, the Volt shouldn’t need too much petrol for its hybrid power train.
The Volts are being acquired in order to help the city fulfil its objectives of reducing carbon emissions, air pollution and petrol consumption. Though many of the Chevrolets are being assigned to the police force, others will be used by the city’s fire and sanitation departments.