“The cars are going to be distributed among nine departments,” Campbell said. “The two biggest will be the fire department and the department of building, which will have four units each. Those eight units will be used by inspectors for building or site inspections.” He added that inspectors do a lot of stop-and-go city driving, which he said was the best possible use for the hybrids. The remaining units will be assigned on a one unit per department basis over several departments. A few will be used as citywide pool vehicles. Campbell noted that this is just the first order. “We’re waiting for additional funding,” he said, “so that we can purchase another 30 units.” The Green Push
“There is a very strong push here for green initiatives,” Campbell pointed out. “Chicago Mayor Daley brought in a deputy mayor for green initiatives, whose sole responsibility is to initiate green programs throughout the city to promote the green agenda.” Ray Sarbiewski, fleet sales director at Grossinger Autoplex in Lincolnwood, handled the buy on the dealership side. “It’s the first time that the city’s ever used any import or non-domestic vehicle.” He noted that the easiest part of the contract was Toyota’s assurance that the first 20 vehicles would be available, even with the shortages in the pipeline. Before delivery, the Priuses were hidden from public view, said Sarbiewski. “Customers would have lined up to purchase the hard-to-get vehicles.” The cars are identical, base-model units with Package A, which offers a rear window wiper and keyless entry system.