State Highway Cruisers Go Green With Solar Panels

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N/A(Photo: Image courtesy of the Ohio State Highway Patrol)
N/A(Photo: Image courtesy of the Ohio State Highway Patrol)

The Ohio Highway Patrol is going green by adding 5-watt solar panels to their fleet of 1150 patrol cruisers.

The solar panels will charge the battery, allowing the police radio to run off battery power while the car is turned off. This reduces wear and tear on the battery, says Sargeant Karla Taulbee.

“As of now, some vehicles get a battery replaced every year. We’re hoping to go three years without replacing a battery,” says Taulbee.

Last year, the Patrol increased their road-side stationary surveillance and saved an estimated one million dollars in fuel costs. Taulbee says that the State Patrol expects to save even more money in reduced fuel consumption.

“So continuing that practice of sitting in stationary patrol and with the vehicles shut-off, it will be more than a million,” says Taulbee.

Each solar panel unit costs about $37 and should last about five years. They are attached to the patrol cars using brackets fashioned from recycled misprinted license plates.