Police Agencies Save Fuel, Reduce Emissions, Save Money by ‘Going Green’

BUFFALO GROVE, Ill., April 16, 2015 – Law enforcement agencies are often the largest consumers of fuel in municipal fleets. Police fleets at both the state and local levels can reduce fuel costs and improve their environmental footprint by using alternative fuels.

Today, in an effort to assist police agencies to improve fuel efficiency, three Clean Cities coalitions from the Midwest region teamed up with Advanced VTech of Buffalo Grove to host a Police Alternative Fuel Summit.

Chicago Area Clean Cities, South Shore Clean Cities (Northern Indiana), and Wisconsin Clean Cities hosted the summit at Advanced VTech’s vehicle care facilities. The summit focused on the use of alternative fuels such as compressed natural gas (CNG) and propane to power police vehicles.

“Saving money by using cleaner, environmentally friendly fuels has huge potential for police agencies,” said John Walton, vice chairman of the Chicago Area Clean Cities coalition. “Police departments use a large amount of fuel. By using alternative fuels such as compressed natural gas or propane, police fleets not only reduce their overall fuel consumption, but they also can reduce their tailpipe emissions.”

The Chicago Police Department and the Illinois State Police State each have thousands of vehicles in their police fleet. Nationally, law enforcement agencies of similar size could save thousands of gallons of fuel and realize substantial cost savings if they switched their fleets to alternative fuels. Smaller city, township, or village police agencies also could reduce their costs by transitioning to alternative fuels.

“Police cars often are running for an entire shift. There is a tremendous amount of idle time,” said David Hagopian, vice president of operations, Advanced VTech. “A police cruiser can burn six to 10 gallons during an officer’s shift.”

Police interceptors typically weigh more than similar consumer vehicles, due to their heavy-duty suspensions and equipment, making them less fuel-efficient. Many police departments also use sport-utility vehicles, which often use more fuel than sedans.

“This is not about going green and spending more money, it is about going green and spending less money,” Walton said. “Through the use of natural gas or propane, law enforcement officials can save the equivalent of up to a dollar per gallon and reduce tailpipe emissions by 20 to 30 percent.”

“At a time when cities and states are facing budget cuts or deficits, every agency should be making a concerted effort to save green by going green,” said Samantha Bingham, coordinator, Chicago Area Clean Cities. “Clean Cities coalitions are here to assist fleets ready to take action with unbiased, objective information about these fuels and clean vehicle technologies.”

Lorrie Lisek, executive director of Wisconsin Clean Cities, added: “Our overall goal is to disseminate complete and accurate information on alternative fuel options available for fleets. Law enforcement fleets consume significant amounts of fuel. Therefore, they can realize an excellent payback on conversion investments along with dramatic emissions reductions.”

Blackdog Corp., a fuel supplier based in Westchester, Ill., and Stag USA, a vehicle-conversion company that specializes in CNG and propane, also co-sponsored the summit.

About Clean Cities
Chicago Area Clean Cities, South Shore Clean Cities (Northwest Indiana), and Wisconsin Clean Cities are 501(c)3 nonprofit coalitions focused on promoting cleaner energy for automotive fleets in the 5-county Chicago area, northern Indiana and Wisconsin. There are nearly 100 Clean Cities coalitions across the country that are affiliated with the U.S. Department of Energy’s Clean Cities program, which brings together stakeholders to increase the use of alternative fuel and advanced-vehicle technologies, reduce idling, improve fuel economy and air quality. To learn more, visit www.chicagocleancities.org, http://www.wicleancities.org and http://www.southshorecleancities.org.

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