Police departments add electric vehicles to their fleets


As leaders from 90 countries gather this week in Glasgow, Scotland for the United Nations Conference of the Parties on Climate Change (COP26) to discuss climate change and strategies to slow the rise in global temperature, the Public safety organizations are already taking action.

Almost every week, we receive news from public safety organizations leading the way in the purchase of electric vehicles, the construction and renovation of new green buildings, or efforts to better prepare the police, firefighters and others. EMS for the prevention of interventions in the event of illness, injury or property damage caused by natural disasters. .

Here are some recent news that showcases the role of public safety in local and state governments to accelerate action to reduce emissions and the use of fossil fuels through the addition of electric vehicles to public safety fleets. .

The Fremont Police Department believes there could be substantial savings by putting a fully electric vehicle into service as a patrol vehicle.

The Fremont Police Department believes there could be substantial savings by putting a fully electric vehicle into service as a patrol vehicle. (Photo / Fremont Police Department)

All Electric Police Patrol Cars

Police departments from coast to coast have been adding Tesla to their patrol fleets for several years. In 2018, the Fremont, California Police Department purchased a used Tesla Model S and had the vehicle fitted in a standard cruiser. The patrol vehicle is set up and handled like any other cruiser, working up to 11 hours in two shifts per day.

Fremont PD, joining many other police departments, had a Tesla Model Y fitted as a patrol car. The Model Y crossover SUV might be better suited for patrollers because it has a larger door, more rear legroom, more cargo space, and a higher cargo hold.

The Eden Prairie, Minnesota, Police Department put a Tesla Model Y into service last summer to replace a Dodge Charger. The ministry expects the maintenance cost of the Model Y to be close to or perhaps less than that of an internal combustion engine patrol car. The department plans to assess vehicle performance, maintenance costs, and operating costs before deciding to purchase other Y models.

Many other departments are adding Tesla to their fleets, including:

Tesla is not the only manufacturer of electric vehicles used by law enforcement. The Ford Mustang Mach-E has been tested by Michigan State Police to determine if it is a viable option for law enforcement. Ford said the Mustang Mach-E passed acceleration, top speed, braking, and high-speed chase tests, as well as emergency response handling characteristics.

The Chevy Bolt EV is used by some law enforcement agencies, but with its more compact size, shorter range, and recent battery issues, it may have a harder time adjusting to police departments who have a rapidly expanding choice of vehicles. The Rivian R1T pickup receives rave reviews and the Ford F-150 Lightning pickup spec and fleet price should grab the attention of all municipal and public safety fleet managers.

Electric vehicle charging

Depending on how a public safety agency plans to charge its electric vehicles, it will need to install either Level 3 DC chargers or Level 2 AC chargers.

Level 3 chargers, like the Tesla Supercharger Network, quickly recharge a vehicle’s battery but are much more expensive to install. Level 2 chargers, which most consumer electric vehicle owners use in the home, are less expensive, less expensive to install, but take longer to charge the vehicle.

The Leon County Sheriff’s Office (Florida) recently deployed Beam Global’s EV ARC solar-powered charging system to charge the department’s electric vehicles. The system generates and stores its own electricity and can be used day and night and during power outages.

Electric vehicle adoption will accelerate

While electric vehicles currently represent only a fraction of a percent of total vehicle purchases by law enforcement agencies, I expect this to change rapidly over the next several years. A combination of successful implementations, lower costs, superior performance, acceleration technology, increased vehicle options and ambitious carbon reduction targets will result in more and more purchases of electric vehicles in the years to come.

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