New York City to Experiment With Hybrid Cop Cars

AltimaHybrid New York City Police Commissioner Raymond W. Kelly and Mayor Michael Bloomberg have announced that the city’s police department will add 40 Nissan Altima Hybrids to its fleet. This is the first time the city will have used hybrids as patrol vehicles.

Twenty of the vehicles will be unmarked, two will be disguised as taxis in an anticrime fleet, and the rest will get the blue and white paint that’s typical of patrol cars. That may not seem like much in a fleet of 3,000 patrol cars, but the 40 hybrids will serve as a pilot program. After a year, their performance will be evaluated to see if the city will add more.

At a cost of $25,391 per vehicle for the department, the Altima Hybrid – which is only sold in seven states – will cost the city about $1,500 more than a Ford Crown Victoria or Chevy Impala, the current patrol vehicles, but the department expects to make up the difference in fuel savings. With a top speed of 113 mph, the hybrids are also slower, but patrol vehicles are meant for the stop-and-go traffic of a city, not high-speed chases.

Of course, we expect comments on why New York City isn’t buying American cars, but Mayor Bloomberg made special note that the Altima Hybrid is built in the U.S., while both the Crown Vic and the Impala are built in Canada.

In Green Test, Police Acquire Hybrid Patrol Cars (The New York Times)


Original sheth

Modifications are made to Impalas and Crown vics for police duty. Unless NIssan did the same with these cars they are unlikely to hold up over the long haul in the same manner as coventional police cars. Its great that they are American (although that hybrid system isn't) but this is a PR move more than anything. BTW, it takes more than final assembly for a car to be "american". Nissan and the other Japanese automakers are smart enough to know most Americans arent savvy enough to figure that out though.


he could have left the american/not american statement out and just explained that they chose the altima hybrid because it is the fastest one available. If I were choosing a hybrid for police duty- it's the one that i'd choose.


Speed is a moot point in NYC. That's why I don't understand the people with Ferraris, etc. Good luck getting that thing past 40mph from light to light.


Why the Nissan Altima Hybird over the Toyota Prius? I understand most cop cars are supposed to have large interior space for equipment and etc, and doesn't the Prius have more internal volume? Ah but whatever, more power to the nypd, finally getting smart about cost cutting!

Ken L.

With the Mayor of NYC’s ambitious plan to make the city ever greener, 1st taxis and now patrol cars, I wouldn’t be surprised if we start seeing Highlander and Camry Hybrids patrol cars (replacing Explorers, and Impalas, respectively) to diversify the fleet of their vehicles. Besides, have any of you seen how many foreign nameplate cars are in NYC? Maybe the Mayor is simply reflecting upon the diversity of the city?


Great Idea...But why not use Ford Fusion Hybrids?


Well said Orginal. Great point Mark just what I was wondering.


I am curious on the Impalas but I assume they are only buying the V8 (basically SS versions). If they really wanted to save fuel couldn't they get the smaller 3.5 V6. It is good on gas, costs less and has more then enough power/speed. I know they make a model for police use but I am sure if they were threatening to take their business elsewhere they could get a V6 version rated for police use.


The police Impalas use the 3.9 V6 (LTZ). They were planning to replace the whole car fleet with Hemi Chargers & 300s but the Chargers are being used for "Highway Patrol" now. They're also adding the Yukon Hybrid to the fleet too (I've seen a few).

Original sheth

I read somewhere that IMpala police cars get 15mpg which is not true. The Impala with 3.9L is rated at 17/27. This is pretty interesting because when the Impala came out in 2000 many in law enforcement were not enamored with the idea of a FWD police car and now it appears the Impala has paved the way for Altima police cars. I think its only a matter of time before "imports" become major players in every aspect of the fleet market. They are in the rental market and police cars are next. The Crown Vic is going out of production soon so that may open the door for Camry and Altima police cars.

Hi Stephen,

My name is Luke Trayser and I'm a Production Assistant with The Printed Blog. We are very interested in this piece for Issue 15 of TPB. What I'm wondering is this: do you own the rights to the image that appears in the piece? If so, do we have permission to use it alongside your written content? And if not, where could we go to seek permission?

Thanks very much, Stephen, and I hope to hear from you soon!


Luke Trayser
Production Assistant
The Printed Blog

Honolulu Police have been using Camry Hybrids for the better part of a year already...



Bob Phillips

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