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Honda and London Metropolian Police in Biggest Hybrid Deal Ever

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Stuart Middleton, Dir. of Transport Services, Metropolitan Police

LONDON - August 19, 2006: Honda (UK) has secured Britain's biggest ever fleet deal for hybrid cars. The Metropolitan Police has ordered 117 Honda Civic Hybrids for its Community Support Officers to use as part of a Safer Neighbourhoods scheme – an initiative to increase police presence on the streets. Officers will use the cars to travel from their operational bases to the start of their foot patrols.

The deal underlines the public sector’s growing interest in ‘greener’ vehicles. Over the past year, the Honda (UK) Corporate Sales department has seen a sharp increase in the number of quotations requested by agencies and organisations in the public sector.

Honda's petrol-electric Civic Hybrid was selected by the Metropolitan Police for its ease of use and strong environmental credentials.

Speaking at the National Association of Police Fleet Managers Conference, Stuart Middleton, Director of Transport Services at the Met Police, said the Hybrids would help "meet police requirements and at the same time fulfil social responsibility to try and make our fleet of vehicles as green as possible. The police, like many other like-minded people, want to do their bit."

The fact that hybrid cars are becoming more financially viable was also a key influencer. Middleton explained: "We need to balance the desire to produce a vehicle with the lowest environmental impact with the cost to the tax payer that funds the vehicles."

He continued: "It’s now widely acknowledged that hybrids provide the middle stepping stone to hydrogen fuel cell cars – our long term goal. Hybrid technology utilises a vehicle that performs in the same way as a conventional car but has the advantage of a reduced emissions footprint."

Leased through the Lex ‘Emergency Services VT fleet’, the cars are contracted for a two year, 24,000-mile period.

Honda announced earlier this year that it intends to build a small, purpose-built, family-sized hybrid car in 2009.

The Civic Hybrid went on sale in the UK in April 2006.