Police in Ostrava, the Czech Republic’s third largest city, have decided to switch half of their 36 patrol vehicles to compressed natural gas (CNG) operation, reports Hybrid.cz. Costing 1.18 million Czech crowns (USD 68,200), the converted fleet is expected to save around 0.7 million crowns (USD 40,000) per annum. Severe pollution in Ostrava means at-risk residents will welcome the reduced emissions of harmful compounds. Skoda models, the Octavia and Fabia, have been selected.
Markéta Schauhuberová, manager of the Czech Gas Union, explained “Vehicles powered by CNG save half the cost compared to diesel and bring many other benefits, such as environmental protection and greater security. Cars on CNG do not pay road tax.”
“We are pleased that the police in Ostrava decided on the choice of CNG. We hope that soon we will see such vehicles in other cities like Brno and Prague,” added Schauhuberová.
The Czech Republic’s government passed a resolution in 2005 for the promotion of natural gas as an alternative fuel. The resolution aims to build natural gas up to 10% or all transportation fuel consumed by 2020, in line with European White Paper on transport policy in effect at that time. That target would see 400 000 CNG vehicles and 400 CNG stations in operation by 2020. Currently the Czech Republic operates 36 CNG stations.