Police officers rely on their cruisers day in and day out, but those cruisers cost money and fuel to keep running. Indianapolis is taking a big step to cut the fuel budget of the police department, purchasing 50 Ford Fusion Energi plug-in hybrids as cruiser replacements.

Though the Ford Fusion Energi has just 20 miles of electric driving range, the Deputy Chief of Public Safety Dave Schwartz says he can go months between fill-ups. He last topped off the Fusion in Mid-March, and despite driving it some 1,600 miles since then, he still has a quarter tank of gas left. Indianapolis plans to roll out 50 Fusion Energi Hybrids to adminstrators and detectives by the end of the year, and it could save the city tens of thousands of dollars annually in fuel costs. The city estimates that in its first year, its hybrid cop cruisers could save as much as $70,000 in fuel costs.

For its part, Ford has been hawking the Taurus Police Interceptor as a fuel efficient alternative to the big V8-powered police cruisers offered by Chevy and GM. But the Fusion Energi might be an even better option, not just for the police, but other local municipal works as well. New York City employs a small fleet of marked Fusion police cars, though Indy cops will likely be rolling around in unmarked vehicles.

As cities like Indianapolis inevitably replace their fleets of older and less-efficient vehicles, hybrids should be at the top of the list as potential replacements. The higher MSRP of the Fusion Energi can be offset in just a few years of regular use, and if Indy’s analysis is accurate, each plug-in hybrid saves about $1,200 a year in fuel costs. Those numbers can add up in just a few years to tangible savings that can make the difference when it comes to budget crunching.

Source: The Indy Channel