Howard County, Maryland is adding hybrid and electric vehicles to their fleet as older vehicles are rotated out of service.
The County is assigning 111 Hybrid Ford Explorers to the Police and Sheriff’s Departments. More than one third of Howard County’s patrol fleet is now hybrid. This is said to be the largest number of hybrids in a patrol fleet by any jurisdiction in Maryland.
Howard County has also put five new Nissan Leafs into service, along with six all-electric Zero motorcycles.
In a video produced by the Howard County Government, the County’s Fleet Administrator demonstrates the new vehicles to Howard County Executive, Calvin Ball.
The County did some calculations and found that a Dodge Charger patrol car uses a gallon of gas per hour while idling. By contrast, the new hybrid patrol vehicles only use 0.2 gallons per hour while idling. The Dodge Charger cars were getting 13.2 MPG and the Ford Explorer Hybrids get 24 MPG. The hybrids use electric AC and heating systems so the engines will not have to run continuously while the officers are in their car doing paperwork or otherwise stationary.
When the County evaluated electric cars for the administrative fleet, they looked for the best value as far as cost vs. efficiency and range. They chose the Nissan Leaf Plus which has 260 miles of range. The Howard County Sheriff’s Department bought a Leaf many years ago and it was still in service at last check.
The Police also picked up a few more electric motorcycles for patrolling the nearly 200 miles of pathways in the County. The HoCo Police Department purchased their first electric motorcycles in 2015.
Kudos to Howard County for stepping up and improving the emissions of their fleet.