Last June, EV.THRIVE and Drive Clean Colorado organized a focus group with Denver area city fleet managers. One of the findings was that the electrification of fleets is coming up rapidly, motivated by clear sustainability goals and encouraged by existing incentives. We learned that, in some urban areas, hybrid vehicles have already been well received as police vehicles, and lead to an average of 30% savings in fuel cost, while also requiring less maintenance than conventional vehicles with internal combustion engines. Some of the participating fleet managers indicated that their cities were planning to purchase EVs starting in 2022, and that police departments were very interested.
Small shifts to EVs were already spotted in the United States law enforcement units. In 2019, the Police Department in Bargersville, IN bought a Tesla Model 3 to replace a Dodge Charger (1). The town was estimating future savings of about $20,000 over six years. In 2021, the town of Ipswich, MA, purchased a Tesla Model Y customized police cruiser vehicle. These are small steps but when states and large cities start shifting to EVs, change can come quickly. NYPD started experimenting with hybid vehicles in 2009 by retrofitting civilian vehicles, and went green with Ford hybrid vehicles in 2019. A couple of years ago, Jonatahn Lopez discussed NYPD's approach for FordAuthority (2).
In 2022, flashing lights seen in rear-view mirrors may come from a Mustang Mach-E. In September 2021, Ford announced that the Mustang Mach-E became the first all-electric vehicle to pass Michigan State Police testing that included acceleration, top speed, braking and high-speed pursuit and emergency response handling (3). At the end of the year, New York City Department of Citywide Administrative Services announced that they are buying 184 Mustang Mach-E SUVs for law enforcement and emergency response as part of the largest purchase of all-electric vehicles to date. Phoebe Wall Howard recently wrote about this in Detroit Free Press (4), reporting that the city spent $11.5M, and citing press release from New York City officials stating that the city is attempting to achieve an all-electric fleet by 2035 in its push to reduce carbon emissions that contribute to respiratory illnesses and greenhouse gases that lead to climate change.
Photo by Cezary Piwowarski - Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=3893927