The police department of Lake in the Hills, a village in Illinois, is retrofitting 10 patrol vehicles to run on propane autogas.
Police Chief David Brey tells NGT News that the Chevy Tahoes range from model-years 2012 to 2014, and under a pilot program, the department will install fuel systems from ICOM North America to convert them into bi-fuel vehicles that run on auotgas and gasoline.
“The state of Illinois is pretty big on converting fleets to cleaner-burning fuel like propane autogas,” he explains, noting that other police agencies in the area, as well as bus and taxicab companies, have embraced the alternative fuel.
He says the department expects to save about $0.61 per gallon equivalent by using propane over gasoline.
“That adds up,” he states. Furthermore, the department plans on applying for a state rebate program.
After they receive training from ICOM North America, the municipality's mechanics will install the conversion kits themselves. Brey says it's simply easier to do things in-house.
“When you upfit a squad car, there's a lot that goes into it: the computer system, the lights, the cameras,” he says. “We used to get stuff done out of house, then when the car would have a problem, it would take our mechanics hours to troubleshoot it because they had to trace back the wiring. We found it's more efficient to upfit our own vehicles.”
The police department has also teamed up with AmeriGas to build its own propane fueling infrastructure for the bi-fuel vehicles. Weather permitting, Brey says he hopes the installation, as well as the vehicle retrofits, to be completed by June 1.