New Castle is definitely focusing on putting your tax dollars to work in a green way. When choosing vehicles, a high priority is placed on fuel efficiency and diminished emissions.
The town’s fleet includes nine hybrids: five Ford Escapes, one Nissan Altima, one Honda Civic, one Ford Fusion and one Ford Focus. “We try to buy the type of equipment that burns less fuel and contributes less pollutants,” Scott Smith, Assistant to the Commissioner of Public Works noted. For some of the vehicles employed by the town, including the class seven trucks which are used for snow plowing, hybrids are not currently available.
In the town’s police department, there are currently four hybrid vehicles. Three of these are used by administrative personnel and the fourth is utilized for parking enforcement. The latter vehicle, the Ford Focus, is particularly efficient due to the nature of its beat which does not necessitate high speed travel. “He drives very slowly,” Chief Charles Ferry noted. “We see a lot of the benefits of the hybrid in parking enforcement,” he added.
According to Ferry there are currently no hybrids which can accommodate the requirements of a patrol car. “Patrol vehicles have to be pretty big,” he observed. They need to carry computer systems and other equipment. Although they are not hybrids, the Dodge Chargers employed by the department do have an energy efficient feature – at low speeds they run on four cylinders and at higher speeds they switch to eight.