Paladin Private security
Saving on fuel costs with used CNG patrol vehicles
Paladin Security is a private security firm that operates in the Sacramento area. A majority of Paladin Security’s patrol cars use compressed natural gas (CNG). The CNG vehicles had a longer operating life, lower maintenance costs, and lowered fuel prices. In addition to cost benefits, operating clean air vehicles has a positive impact on the brand image of Paladin Security, and there are positive externalities to the decision to use CNG over conventional gasoline including: economic and energy security due to lower reliance on imported petroleum; lower emissions; and increased local demand for a domestically produced fuel. The last benefit of increased demand for CNG is particularly important to companies and agencies considering opening a public access CNG station who are seeking public and private partners to increase throughput, as was the case for Sacramento Paratransit and Sacramento Regional Transit.
The Model Year (MY) 2002 Ford Crown Victoria, for example, has an EPA estimated combined highway and city fuel economy rating of 16 miles per gallon. Security vehicles are high mileage because of their job to patrol locations under contract, so cost savings and petroleum reduction is significant. With the recent advent of hydraulic fracturing, natural gas prices have significantly gone down, but because a majority of the total cost of CNG fuel is in compression and station construction and operation, CNG fuel prices are likely to remain relatively stable. This stability allows Paladin to safely hedge against highly volatile petroleum prices.
Paladin Security has a mechanic staff well-trained in working with CNG vehicles, and enough spare parts from their vehicles taken out of operation to rebuild CNG Crown Victoria sedans from scratch. The CNG sedans are less expensive to maintain and last up to around 400,000 miles or more.
Paladin currently operates 70 CNG Ford Crown Victorias. Paladin acquires the vehicles as used police units at auction in Texas. One issue Paladin encountered was the lack of California Air Resources Board (CARB) certification on several units purchased which meant Paladin was unable to operate these sedans.
The culmination of lower, more stable fuel prices, lower maintenance costs and smaller additional benefits including positive public image and in several cases HOV lane access made CNG an attractive option for Paladin Security.