The next time you're sitting in the bus lane, humming "Don't pull me over Mr. Officer" as NYC's finest ambles up to your window to ask for your license and registration, check your rear-view mirror. If you're lucky, you can take solace in the fact that you've just been nabbed by an officer driving one of the city's 50 brand new plug-in hybrid Chevy Volt cruisers.
They're part of Mayor Michael Bloomberg's larger PlaNYC effort to reduce the city's emissions and prepare for climate change. Future efforts could include electrification of the city's taxi fleet. All-electric Nissan Leafs are already being tested for that purpose.
Fifty cruisers isn't a lot given the thousands the city has deployed, but it's as much about educating the populace as taking the first small steps toward de-carbonizing the city's vehicles. A recent survey by McKinsey & Company indicated that only one in three New Yorkers understood the limitations and benefits of electric cars. As a bonus, maybe Volt drivers will soon have the same fringe benefits as someone who drives a Crown Vic: being surrounded at all times by a bubble of well-behaved, paranoid traffic.