By Police1 staff
More and more public safety organizations are taking steps to reduce emissions and the use of fossil fuels through the addition of electric vehicles (EVs) to public safety fleets.
Police departments across the country have been adding electric vehicles to their patrol fleets for several years. Some, like the NYPD, Berea (Kentucky) Police Department and Bargersville (Indiana) Police Department, have purchased Tesla Model 3s.
Others have outfitted a Tesla Model S or Y as a patrol car—both in the case of the Fremont (California) Police Department.
And some departments are testing the waters, like the Eden Prairie (Minnesota) Police Department, which deployed a Tesla Model Y to replace a Dodge Charger, or the Nitro (West Virginia) Police Department, which added a Tesla Model 3 in 2021 for a single vehicle test.
Tesla isn’t the only maker of electric vehicles used by law enforcement. The Ford Mustang Mach-E was tested by the Michigan State Police to determine if it is a viable option for law enforcement. Ford reported that the Mustang Mach-E passed the tests of acceleration, top speed, braking and high-speed pursuit, as well as emergency handling characteristics.
The Chevy Bolt EV is used by some law enforcement agencies, but has a more compact size and lower range. The Ford F-150 Lightning is a pickup option that is also getting the attention of fleet managers.
Early EV adopters report that their foray into electric vehicles results in lower operating and maintenance costs than combustion engine patrol cars, with the performance to boot.
Implementation of electric cars
Depending on how a public safety agency plans to deploy and charge their electric vehicles, they must install either Level 3 DC chargers or Level 2 AC chargers.
Level 3 chargers, like the Tesla Supercharger network, quickly replenish a vehicle’s battery, but are much more expensive to install. Level 2 chargers, which most electric vehicle owners use at home, are cheaper to install but take longer to charge the vehicle.
Some charging setups allow vehicles, and in some cases stations, to generate and store additional power.
Although electric vehicles currently account for a fraction of one percent of total vehicle purchases by law enforcement agencies, a combination of successful deployments, lower costs, higher performance, accelerating technology, increased vehicle options, and high targets for reducing CO2 emissions will drive more and more electric vehicle purchases in the coming years.
NEXT: Trending topic: Electric vehicles for public safety