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SCAQMD Unveils Natural Gas Police Pursuit Vehicle at AltCar Expo

Air quality officials on Thursday will unveil a 2011 Ford Crown Victoria Interceptor police pursuit vehicle converted to run on clean-burning compressed natural gas at the annual AltCar Expo.  

The vehicle will be on display at the AltCar Expo in the Santa Monica Civic Center on Sept. 20 and 21.  

In addition, news media will have an opportunity to view and drive the police vehicle from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. on Thursday, Sept. 19 during the AltCar Expo’s media day at the Santa Monica Civic Center. A second CNG police vehicle from the city of South Pasadena will also be on display.  

“These police vehicles look and operate just like their gasoline counterparts,” said Michael Cacciotti, SCAQMD Board Member and Councilman for the city of South Pasadena.  “But they are much cleaner and better for air quality and our health, which is especially important in pollution-plagued Southern California.”  

The vehicle is part of SCAQMD’s compressed natural gas (CNG) police vehicle demonstration program, which started in October 2012 in the city of Monterey Park Police Department.  During the three-year program, interested cities across the Southland will have an opportunity to use the vehicle in their fleet for approximately two to four months.  The vehicle is currently being operated by the city of Sierra Madre and will transfer to another city next month.  About 15 cities and the California State University San Bernardino have expressed interest in the program.  

In addition to the police vehicle on display at the AltCar expo, a second CNG police vehicle, a K-9 unit, is currently in operation at the city of South Pasadena.    

The SCAQMD demonstration 2011 Ford Crown Victoria police pursuit vehicle has been retrofitted to run entirely on CNG and is capable of speeds up to 100 mph. Just like its gasoline-powered counterpart, the CNG cruiser has a 4.6 liter, V-8 engine producing an estimated 250 horsepower. It achieves a similar fuel efficiency of 15 miles per gallon. With a fuel tank capacity of 15 gallons it has an approximate range of 225 miles. At fast-fill stations, refueling takes three to five minutes.  

The vehicle was also evaluated by four different drivers in the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department’s Law Enforcement Vehicle Test and Evaluation Program using a 32-lap high-speed course and a pursuit course. In these tests, the Interceptor earned a passing score in various performance-based categories, as well as satisfying the 100 mph requirement for high-speed law enforcement patrol.  

There are a number of advantages to using natural gas vehicles. In addition to the environmental benefits, natural gas vehicles on average produce about 20 to 25 percent less greenhouse gas emissions than gasoline-powered vehicles. Natural gas is also a low-cost, domestic resource and costs about $1.50 less per gallon than gasoline on average.  

SCAQMD is the air pollution control agency for Orange County and major portions of Los Angeles, San Bernardino and Riverside counties.

This page updated: September 18, 2013