To cut back on overhead costs, the Spirit Lake, ID, police department partnered with a local auto dealership, Coeur d'Alene Honda and Kia, to add a new Honda Civic Hybrid to the small municipality's police fleet.
“The Civic Hybrid is an economical car that will save the department in fuel and in limited maintenance,” says Coeur d Alene Honda dealer Kathy Sims. “The Hybrid is projected to use 80% less fuel than the vehicles in the fleet now.”
The new 2005 model will go up to 650 miles on a fill-up, and pairs a lightweight, high-output electric motor with a highly efficient gasoline engine.
It is one of the first Hybrid vehicles to be used in an Idaho police department.
Police Chief Doug Camster took delivery of the new vehicle at the dealership.
“The estimated savings in gas consumption alone is significant enough to cover the lease of the new vehicle,” says Camster. “And because the vehicle is under warranty we are able to avoid some of the costs associated with maintenance.”
He adds, “By continuing to seek innovative ways to reduce costs without cutting back service, we are able to benefit both the police department and the community.”
Originally Coeur d'Alene Honda approached American Honda Finance about leasing the vehicle to the city, but when the corporation declined, the dealership agreed to take on the responsibility itself.
“This is too important an opportunity to miss,” says Sims. “Spirit Lake is taking a chance on us and on this new technology, we'll take a chance on them.”
She adds, “Services are being cut in nearby Spokane, Washington. We want to continue services here. North Idaho is a beautiful place and the environment issue is also important.
“It is just plain responsible from all side.”