Berea Police trying out electric cars as cruisers
BEREA, Ky. (WKYT) - Berea might be the first city in Kentucky to dip its toes into the electric car market with police cruisers.
Is this the future of police departments? Berea Police Chief Eric Scott believes it is.
”I’m 36-years old. I have 20 something plus years. So, this is gonna be in my lifetime, that I’m gonna order vehicles, and they’re gonna to be EVehicles,” Chief Scott said.
So, what does that look like? It looks like Tesla police cruisers and eight charging stations lined up behind the police station.
”What we’re doing here in Berea, is we’re trying to think ahead of the game. We’re trying to say, ‘you know what, we know its coming down the line, let’s start slow’” Chief Scott said. “We’ll do two or three cars at a time.”
Mayor Bruce Fraley also felt the timing was right to give electric vehicles a ride. The Honda/Hitachi plant in town is preparing to make electric motors next year. The cost of the Model 3 Tesla also compared well with the gas fueled cruisers.
”They’re saving us money. I’ve already saved $7,000 this year, three vehicles, in fuel alone. And this is not even counting the increase in fuel. This is off of last year’s fuel numbers,” Mayor Fraley said. ”I’m saving the tax payers money, because the reality is there’s no maintenance. The only fluid on this thing is windshield washer fluid.”
Berea owns it’s utility, so, in a sense, they are paying themselves every time they plug in. The mayor, is not quite ready to commit to buying more Teslas. Only three of the 33 police cars are electric.
He wants some more time to study the costs and the use of the cars. However, he also sees a day when other city government departments are electric powered.
”We have meter readers who have expressed an interest, we have an IT Director has expressed in interest in having an electric vehicle,” Mayor Fraley said. “So, not only the police department, but our codes and planning, that’s when it’s mostly local, our public works department that mostly local if they don’t have to have a big truck. I think electric vehicles are something that will be workable in the near term.”
”We don’t have a choice to be honest with you,” Chief Scott said. “If you look at the big automotive dealers, they’ve all pledged that by 2030 they’re going to be fully EV. Whenever I go to order from Ford or Dodge or whoever one day, and they say all we have is a EV vehicle, I’ll say, ‘perfect.’ We’re ready for that. We have the infrastructure set up.”
Ford has announced that forty percent of vehicles it sells globally will be electric by 2030. GM, Dodge, Chrysler, and Jeep brands are also setting that goal. Right now, just over four percent of all vehicles sold in the U.S. this year are electric or hybrids.
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