Can EVs be legitimate police pursuit vehicles?
It's no secret that the government is on a mission to go all-electric. Shortly after taking the oath of office, President Biden announced that he wanted to replace the gas-powered federal fleet with EVs right away.
Not even the Department of Defense is being spared, as it already ordered two EVs for evaluation. The only holdout was the US Postal Service, but it eventually gave up the battle after being sued by various States.
The change is already happening on a state and local level, most notably in police departments nationwide. Many are already running a small fleet of EVs to supplement the ICE vehicles they already own. The argument for EV police cars is sound - less money spent on fuel and servicing with insane performance.
Here's a list of police departments that have made the change and the cars they selected to hunt down suspects.
In mid-2021, Chevrolet introduced the Bolt EV with the SSV Package. The SSV in its name stands for Special Services Vehicle, so what makes it unique?
The Bolt SSV has 20 and 30 amp circuits to run auxiliary lights and radios. It also runs on 16-inch steel wheels with all-terrain tires, and the driver gets a power-adjustable seat. As you can see from the image below, it won't strike fear into the hearts of evildoers, but that's not what it was meant for.
It's not a beat vehicle but rather built for detectives who do a lot of driving in search of clues. As we know from watching television, stakeouts are also part of any decent detective's arsenal. And that's why the Bolt SSV is equipped with Surveillance Mode. It turns all the exterior and interior lights off, though we're not sure how that's different from simply turning a car off.
There is currently no record of any police department investing in a Bolt SSV.
Not only is the Blazer PPV more imposing, but it can actually be used to chase lawbreakers down. If the pursuit is less than 300 miles, that is.
The PPV is based on the most potent SS trim, which means 557 horsepower is standard. You'd better bring a Plaid to the pursuit, or you're not going to escape. Other valuable features include a set of high=performance Brembo brakes and the obligatory police interior with room in the back for the baddies. Thanks to the skateboard design, the criminals will enjoy loads of legroom in the back seat, and the trunk is large enough to carry a small arsenal and medical supplies.
The Model 3 is by far the most popular EV police car. Thai police spent $3 million on a fleet of Model 3s, while the UK Police were more reserved and purchased one unit for evaluation. Both police departments are reportedly pleased with their EVs.
That's good news for Dallas County's police department, which recently spent $190,320 on three Model 3 Performance units.
The Model 3 Performance can reach 60 mph in 3.1 seconds and tops out at 162 mph. That's faster than any of the most stolen cars in the USA, according to a list published by the National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB) in 2020.
The New York City Department of Citywide Administrative Services spent a considerable chunk of cash buying 184 Mustang Mach-E models. Not all the cars went to the NYPD, however. The New York City Sheriff's Office, the Department of Corrections, the Department of Parks and Recreation, the Department of Environmental Protection, NYC Emergency Management, DCAS Police, and the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner all received or will receive a brand-new Mach-E.
The NYPD got the best. It went for the full-fat GT, which produces 480 hp and 600 lb-ft of torque from a dual-motor setup. It will get to 60 mph in 3.5 seconds.
It also has the best livery out of all the police cars on this list.
The 2023 Ford F-150 Lightning Pro SSV (Special Service Vehicle) is unique because it replaces an existing ICE model. It will eventually replace the Ford F-150 Police Responder, giving us a neat comparison.
Depending on what battery a police department goes for, the Lightning Pro SSV produces either 452 hp and 775 lb-ft of torque or 580 hp and 775 lb-ft. Both models can hit 60 mph in less than four seconds and tow at least 7,700 pounds.
"Pro Power Onboard can serve as a mobile power source to light up evening accident scenes on the highway, the electric powertrain helps to potentially reduce costs associated with fuel and scheduled maintenance needs. The Mega Power Frunk provides extra lockable storage on top of purpose-built police additions our customers have come to expect from the leader in police vehicles," said Nate Oscarson, Ford Pro national government sales manager.
There are no orders yet, but you can bet they'll flood in soon as the books open.