BCPD plans to add more clean fuel cars to fleet

Published: Jul. 30, 2014 at 1:42 AM CDT
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BOSSIER CITY, LA (KSLA) - Bossier City's fleet of police cars is continuing to experience an environmental transformation, with the planned addition of more clean fuel vehicles.

The city has had vehicles that run off alternative fuel for 4 years now. Since the first compressed natural gas (CNG) fuel station opened in late 2010, Bossier City leaders have been slowly converting their fleet into CNG vehicles, at least partially.

The converted vehicles can also use gasoline and E-85, which is another alternative fuel made up of ethanol.

"The primary push were two fold, one to save the city cost on fuel, also to be friendlier to the environment," said city spokesman Mark Natale.

The city council will soon consider spending $1.5 million to convert 35 new police cars to use cleaner fuels. The cars will replace old ones, many that are fueled with traditional gasoline.

"We wanted to do our part to lower the emissions in the environment and atmosphere here," Natale said.

The alternative fuels are much cheaper than traditional gasoline. However, the up front cost to convert the vehicles can be a pretty penny. An estimate given to KSLA News 12 by an auto shop was up to $7,000 per vehicle.

According to Natale, in the long run the city will save money on maintenance and fuel costs.

"It basically pays for itself and then some," he said.

Bossier City resident Cliff Smith is familiar with CNG fuel, and he doesn't mind his tax dollars being used for that purpose.

"The technology is not that new, it just being implemented more because it helps not rely on foreign oil sources," he said.

The Bossier City Council will vote Aug. 8 on whether to use $1.5 million from the city's sales tax capital improvement fund to pay for the 35 new cars. 

The city's first full CNG ambulance was unveiled at the end of May. The council voted to pay for it in 2012, using $325,000 from the sales tax fund, but the city couldn't find a manufacturer to design and build it until recently.

Bossier City is not the only community using CNG fuel. Shreveport's SporTran buses are CNG fueled, as are some of their public works vehicles. The Caddo Parish Sheriff's Office also has CNG vehicles.

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