A new type of police vehicle will soon be cruising the streets of Los Angeles. The Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) is joining a number of other companies in going green by adding 100 all-electric BMW i3s to its fleet.
Based on news provided to 1stCertified Collision Center, LAPD signed a deal with the German manufacturer in June to lease the sporty vehicles. The environmentally-friendly cars will be used for police business and community outreach, rather than hot speed pursuits and typical patrolling. Prior to the announcement, the i3 was evaluated by the department during a field trial. The test vehicle was decked out like a typical black and white LAPD vehicle with a rooftop light-bar and LAPD insignia.
Tesla Motors’ P85D was reportedly also tested. The vehicle is a discontinued version of the Model S and apparently LAPD was considering its replacement, the P90D.
According to industry reports, the i3 was selected for its top EPA ratings, reliability and ConnectedDrive Services, which offer a range of services and apps that will support the LAPD applications. Plans call for BMW’s software to interface with the police department’s fleet management system so LAPD can monitor vehicle data and track the fleet in real time.
A spokesperson for the LAPD said that electric vehicles are more cost-effective than traditional gas-powered cars and the department will spend about 40 percent less on gas by adding the 100 electric vehicles to their fleet. Last year, Los Angles Mayor Eric Garcetti said the city would eventually lease 160 electric vehicles, divided among various city departments.
Five Facts About the BMW i3:
• Since the BMW i3 was first introduced in 2014, the vehicle has received nearly 30 awards for sustainability and design. In April, the company announced that the vehicle was named Best Green Car in two categories of the American Automobile Association’s 2016 Green Car Awards: in the $30,000 to $50,000 price range and also in the subcompact category.
• The i3 utilizes a 22-kWh lithium-ion battery and has a range of 80-100 miles. It takes four hours to fully charge a BMW i3. A faster charger station can power the battery up to 80 percent in 20 minutes. Greenlots, a global provider of open standards-based technology solutions for electric vehicle networks, will supply 100 240-volt Level 2 charging stations and four DC fast-charging stations to the LAPD at an additional cost.
• The compact vehicle has a tight turning radius and is constructed primarily of lightweight Carbon Fiber Reinforced Plastic so maneuvering the busy streets of Los Angeles should be a breeze, according to BMW.
• With 170 horsepower and 184lb-ft of torque hybrid-synchronous electric motor, the i3 can go from zero to 60 mph in seven seconds.
• The base MSRP price of one of these sporty vehicles is $42,400. The LAPD will lease the vehicles for approximately $385 per month. That means a three-year lease on 100 cars will cost more than $1 million, which includes the cost of maintaining and repairing the vehicles.
More electric vehicles are rumored to be added to the LAPD fleet in the coming months so stay tuned and we wouldn’t be surprised if we start seeing them here in CA very soon!