As promised, the Raleigh, NC Police Department has converted 10 of its patrol cars to run on propane autogas, NewsObserver.com reported last week. And, for reasons ‘pro followers know all too well, the officers and townspeople are already very pleased with the decision.
Funded by a $12 million, four-year federal stimulus grant from the Department of Energy, the project is part of a push for more alternative fuel vehicle usage in North and South Carolina. Similar government incentives in Virginia are rapidly giving propane a much-needed visibility boost.
The revamped squad cars will run primarily on propane, but the engines are also compatible with gasoline for optimum range. Raleigh town planners may have taken a cue from Knightdale’s Police Department, another North Carolina force that recently converted to autogas.
As in Knightdale, Alliance Autogas was on hand to install a fueling station right outside the Police Department for easy, reliable access. Those familiar with the advantages of autogas won’t be surprised to hear Raleigh is already reaping financial benefits from the switch.
“In maybe six to eight weeks, we’ve saved approximately $2,500 or $3,000, and that’s not having all 10 on the road,” said Lynn Graham, program manager at the city’s Office of Sustainability. “It’s taxpayer dollars, and it makes us happy to be good stewards of the citizens.”
Economic benefits aside, city officials were also thrilled to be using a domestically produced fuel that emits approximately 80% less harmful particulate matter than gasoline.
“I’m excited for the police cars that keep the families safe in Raleigh to also be improving air quality for these same families,” commented Lacey Jane Wolfe, a member of the Triangle J Council of Governments.