The newest patrol vehicle in Mercer Island, Wa., is a Toyota Highlander Hybrid 2010, the first hybrid police patrol car in the Northwest, says the Seattle Times. Officers will spend the next year testing and evaluating the vehicle, which runs off gas and electricity. If all goes well, the department plans to buy two more hybrids next year to replace older patrol vehicles.
Officers have already discovered some unique advantages, including the car’s quietness when it is run on electric-only, which can be helpful. The hybrid has better gas mileage and a lower level of carbon emissions than Crown Victorias, said operations commander Dave Jokinen said. It also accelerates from zero to 60 and zero to 100 faster than the traditional model. The vehicle costs $36,000 before taxes, compared with $23,000 for a standard patrol car.