PETERSBURG, Va. -- Petersburg Police hope to save the city thousands of dollars a year in gas and car maintenance costs with its new fleet of patrol SUVs that can run on either gasoline or propane. Police used a grant to pay for the vehicles.
"Five months in, we've had no problems with the vehicles, whatsoever," Petersburg Police Chief Travis Christian said. "There's been a considerable cost saving to the taxpayer, in terms of gasoline."
Chief Christian said the cost of propane is about 30 percent less than gas right now.
But fuel cost is not the only benefit, according to Whelan's Service Center owner Jim Whelan.
"It extends the life of oil changes because you don't have the amount of soot content that gets in the oil," he said. "Being an ultra clean-burning fuel, it also extends the life of the motors."
Chief Christian said the money the department saved on fuel could be re-allocated to other things like the city's program to stop gun violence or restarting Petersburg's PAL Program.