Uncommon cruisers

A comparison of battery-powered vehicles


Image of the three-wheeled product unavailable at time of publication.

Can you go 25 mph on foot?

“If [departments] don’t have the budget to hire people, a vehicle that increases visibility is just as important,” says Brian Lamacchia, T3 Motion’s West Coast regional sales director. This comment is in reference to the T3’s size—the Patroller runs a 13-square-foot footprint; the Vision at a sleeker 8.

The product line includes two unique packages, a third offering suspension for driver comfort. Larger sizes mean additional accessory options. “Our vehicle…gives us a larger domain for things like lights and horns,” says Lamacchia. “It also gives us the ability to provide a video tracking system.”

The system is named MotionTrak and basically acts as in-car video. It not only allows video recording but also takes note of driver habits—speed, position, time, direction and more.

Another feature is controlled speed “mode.” This is set by a key switch and limits top speed by selection.

Vision also boasts a non-marking tire, a design angled towards indoor operations like malls and airports.

 

T3 Patroller, Patroller S

  • Range — 25 miles
  • Top Speed — 25 mph
  • Acceleration —
  • 5 seconds (to 10 mph)
  • Vehicle weight — 300 pounds
  • Charging time (max time) —
  • 4 hours
  • On-board charging kit — Yes
  • Battery type — Interchangeable
  • Tire size — 15x6 front, 60x120 rear
  • Turning radius — Zero degrees
  • Training available — Yes

 

T3 Vision

  • Range — 20 miles
  • Top Speed — 12 mph
  • Acceleration —
  • 5 seconds (to 10 mph)
  • Vehicle weight — 236 pounds
  • Charging time (max time) —
  • 4 hours
  • On-board charging kit — Yes
  • Battery type — Interchangeable
  • Tire size — 15 x 6 x 6 (front),
  • 120 x 70 x 12 (rear)
  • Turning radius — Zero degrees
  • Training available — Yes

Electric scooters (and more) on duty

New for Vectrix is the ES-3 (for law enforcement and security ONLY), a street-legal three-wheeled stand-up offering using the same motor as the VX-2. The model includes headlights, tail lights, reverse, front disc brakes, turn
signals—all the items required under DOT guidelines to make it highway legal.

 

VX-1 Li/Li+

  • Range — 40-65 miles / 85 miles
  • Top Speed — 68 mph
  • Acceleration —
  • 6 / 6.25 seconds (to 50 mph)
  • Vehicle weight — 452 / 460 pounds
  • Charging time (max time) —
  • 4 / 6 hours
  • On-board charging kit — Yes
  • Battery type — LiFePO4
  • Tire size — 120/70-14 (front), 140/60-13 (rear)
  • Training available — Yes

 

VX-2

  • Range — 55 miles
  • Top Speed — 39 mph
  • Acceleration — 7 seconds (to 30 mph)
  • Vehicle weight — 430 pounds
  • Charging time (max time) —
  • 5 hours
  • On-board charging kit — Yes
  • Battery type — SLA 48V (60 Ah)
  • Tire size — 130/60-13
  • Training available — Yes

 

ES-3

  • Range — 25 miles
  • Top Speed — 25 mph
  • Charging time (max time) —
  • 4 hours
  • On-board charging kit — Yes
  • Battery type — 1.0 kWh Lithium (interchangeable)
  • Turning radius — Zero degrees
  • Training available — Yes

Functional, yet fun — eS, e2 Electric (with/without bolt-on bed)

The distinguishing feature of the street-legal GEM, a brand purchased by Polaris in 2011, is that it allows for more than one rider. One common model allows for two officers—however, their website does show a design that can carry up to six.
Due to the large door opening (double-hinged hard—new for 2014—or canvas doors are available), the vehicles are designed to be easy to get into and out of. For a size comparison, they are larger than a SmartCar, and 0.5 inches taller than a Chrysler minivan. This height increases visibility, improving your presence for community policing, events, parking enforcement or downtown patrol.

“[Law enforcement] also likes the cost of operating … which is about two cents a mile depending on your power cost … it comes to about 150 miles a gallon,” says Lenny Szabo, commercial sales manager for GEMS.

Put into simplest terms, the GEM is like Polaris took an electric full-sized vehicle and shrank it to size. It comes with street suspension, front and rear disc brakes, pedal brake and the same acceleration/steering controls you’ll find in your patrol car.