Famously, there was an incident in San Francisco where an experimental Electric Police vehicle almost ran out of battery during a high-speed chase. HERE.
Fortunately, the number of high-speed chases in Fairfax California is not so high.
And, more and more police departments in California, across the country, and around the world are finding that All-electric vehicles more than satisfy their needs for reliable, cost-effective duty.
Close to home, the Fremont Police Department ran a pilot program in which they bought a used, 2014 Tesla, and put it into service as a police car. In addition to its excellent performance (even this old one can go two shifts on a single charge), it saves them money. On an annual basis, the Tesla cost them about $3,000 less per year to operate than a NEW gas-powered car. (e.g. if they had tested a new EV, the maintenance costs would have been far less, such that the annual savings would have been more). The Tesla needed much LESS time to be serviced, meaning it was more available than comparable gas-powered cars. And, because it was more reliable, the Tesla is projected to be able to have longer service life than a fossil-fuel powered car, so that its costs can be amortized over more years, making it even more economical. Fremont projects that they will save more than $2M over the next 20 years by shifting to All-Electric Police Vehicles. HERE.
Westport Connecticut bought a 2020 Tesla 3 for its most recent police car. In addition the advantages discovered by Fremont, they found that the All-Electric vehicle offered "superior performance, 5-star crash ratings, and industry-leading collision avoidance technology." The Tesla also has an additional trunk where an engine would be, allowing the officers to carry needed emergency equipment. The Tesla comes with many standard features that a department would otherwise need to add at additional costs. HERE.
Hyattsville, Maryland, a small community, was one of the first communities to use an All-Electric police car, in this case, the Chevy Bolt. According to Police Sergeant Harnett of the Hyattsville PD, "when I’m patrolling in the Bolt EV, I’m out there doing all of the things that other officers do,” says Hartnett. “But I’m not polluting the air, and I don’t have any of the other problems that gas-burning vehicles do. It’s clear to me that EVs like the Bolt EV certainly have a place in law enforcement.”
I could go on and on. A simple google search turns up many many jurisdictions successfully making the switch to all-electric police cars - and saving money and getting better performance.
I am not a police officer. I honor and respect the work our officers do on our behalf.
Wednesday night, the Town Council will consider a consent item to purchase new HYBRID police vehicles. While hybrid vehicles are certainly better than gas-burning cars, they are not as good - in performance or cost or environmentally - as all-electric vehicles now available.
The Town of Fairfax has declared a climate emergency. The Town of Fairfax has set a goal to be carbon neutral by 2030.
Should we begin to walk the car talk?
Whether the Town makes this decision or not, as citizens, we can all make, for ourselves, the determination that we will never buy another vehicle that burns gas. All of us are likely to have to replace our vehicles over the next ten years. There are more and more incentives for going all-electric, and there are more and more options for used cars.
Let's all Walk the Car Talk. Together, we can do what we must do for the climate and for the world we will leave to our kids.