The New York Police Department has begun the process of converting its fleet of patrol cars to more efficient hybrids.

The NYPD will put 40 new Nissan Altima hybrids on the road shortly and the first ones are in use now.  18 of the 40 cars will be marked for patrol use while the remaining 22 will be unmarked for other uses.

The hybrids will be used in areas of the city were their gas saving benefits will be put to best use.  The NYPD has 170 hybrid fleet units on the road, but the Altima hybrids will be the first used for patrol duty.  Other hybrids used by the NYPD include 10 GMC Yukons for police captains and other hybrids used for parking enforcement.

Though the Nissan Altima hybrid carries about a $1,500 premium over other vehicles used for police patrol, it will make up for the added costs due to exceptional gas mileage at 35 mpg city compared to 15 to 17 for traditional patrol cars.

The Nissan Altima hybrid will be evaluated throughout the year and the police department will make a decision as to whether or not to expand its hybrid fleet next year.

Source:  New York Police Department