If driving a hybrid car can save you $500 per year on gas, how much would a fleet of hybrid cars save?

That’s what the Des Moines, Iowa police department is going to find out. They’ve started a new pilot program in which they’ve bought eight new Honda Accord hybrid cars. According to a news report, the cars will cost the department about $220,000, or about $27,000 apiece.

Currently, the Des Moines police department spends about $700,000 a year to gas up their 380 vehicles, or about $1,850 per year per vehicle. The P.D. is hoping to save at least as much as an average consumer would save on gas – or more.

Saving $500 per year on gas per vehicle is a savings of $4,000 per year for the 8 cars. If all 380 vehicles were hybrids, the savings on gas could rise to nearly $200,000 per year.

That kind of cash could put a couple of extra officers on the street, or simply help to keep a city’s budget in line.

With practical, informative consumer advice, I’m Ilyce Glink, News-Talk 750 WSB