Recently, I purchased a new hybrid vehicle. This vehicle has a fuel economy rating of 51 mpg in the city and 48 mpg on the highway. Essentially, my new purchase doubled the gas mileage that I was obtaining from my previous vehicle. I thought that this was important because I tend to keep vehicles for 10 or more years. When I purchased my last vehicle in 2001, gasoline prices were around $1.50 per gallon; when I replaced this vehicle, gasoline prices were close to $4 per gallon. One drawback of owning a hybrid vehicle is that one cannot obtain service locally. This may present an opportunity for someone who wants to learn how to service hybrid vehicles.
I have read in The Hazard Herald that the Perry County Fiscal Court purchased a 2012 Ford F-150 Raptor, full cab model, for our judge-executive to drive, and I have read the justifications for and arguments against purchasing this vehicle. I had some questions myself about whether a bidding process was used to purchase the vehicle and why the “resale value” was important when the county tends to use a vehicle until it is “junk.” (Resale value is important only if you intend to re-sell the vehicle.) Another concern is the mileage that this vehicle obtains. Motor Trend gives a fuel economy rating of 11 mpg in the city and 16 mpg on the highway for a 6.2L, V-8 engine.
In the Sept. 26, 2012 issue of The Hazard Herald, I read that the fiscal court had voted to purchase two new cruisers for the Perry County Police Department. In another article, I read that the Perry County Board of Education had approved the purchase of four new school buses. I would encourage the fiscal court and the school boards to consider fuel efficiency in their purchases of new vehicles. The purchase of alternative fuel-powered vehicles such as those powered by natural gas also should be considered.
In the recent past, the Perry County Sheriff did not have funds to buy gasoline for their vehicles. Other county agencies who do not consider fuel efficiency in the purchase of vehicles also may find themselves grounded. High-powered vehicles with empty fuel tanks will be of no service to the citizens of Perry County.