The Guelph Police Service announced in a press conference on Thursday that they will transition all marked vehicles in those with the fleet to hybrid technology, a four-year shift that will begin this fall and will not increase the current budget or anticipated costs.

“We are making this commitment because it is the right thing to do”, Chief Gord Cobey said, adding that “we have a responsibility to be stewards of our environmental resources in the same way we seek to ensure the appropriate allocation of the financial resources entrusted to us.”

Cobey was joined by Mayor Cam Guthrie and MPP Mike Schreiner for the announcement made in front of city hall while rain was sprinkling. The mayor said that it was “extremely wonderful” the service was going hybrid, and falls inline with the city’s move towards its net zero carbon plan.

Guelph’s member of provincial parliament called the transition “a win for the climate” and added that during a provincial tour he is taking in the coming weeks, he will point to the climate leadership of the police as an example for others to follow.

The transition will take three to four years, the chief explained to media. The transition is expected to substantially reduce fuel consumption, reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 750,000 pounds per year by 2023 and extend the life of police vehicles.

The full transition of the 32-vehicle fleet will be completed by 2023, a move that could cut the service’s fuel bill by some $50,000 a year, fleet manager Jim Turow said. Police said that fuel consumption will be cut by 60,000 litres in the next four years.

One of the new SUVs.

The police had on hand for the announcement one of three speciality-built SUVs bought from Ford that are set to hit the streets this fall. As the older vehicles are taken out of service, they will be replaced with another 29 hybrid vehicles over the next four years.