It’s Electric: New Police Vehicle Options Could Provide Spark

April 23, 2023
Two new EVs for law enforcement will soon join the market as agencies look for ways to save money on both fuel and maintenance costs.

Over the past few years there has been a big push for law enforcement agencies to consider adding electric vehicles to their fleets. Smaller and mid-size departments in places like Bargersville, Indiana; Freemont, California; Spokane, Washington and Boulder, Colorado, have purchased Teslas as patrol vehicles. In late 2021, the NYPD purchased 184 Ford Mustang Mach-Es and approved the option to buy 250 Tesla Model 3s.

This article appeared in the March/April issue of OFFICER MagazineClick Here to subscribe to OFFICER Magazine.

While challenges still exist such as the increase initial cost of the vehicles, the total range on a full charge and finding time to charge the vehicles during and in between shifts, many departments see electric vehicles as an option to save on both fuel and maintenance costs.

Last year, Ford Pro announced the addition of the Ford F-150 Lightning Pro SSV pick-up truck while General Motors Fleet announced that it would begin production on the Chevrolet Blazer EV PPV. The moves by both companies show that they remain committed to push electric vehicle options while also continuing the trend toward larger vehicles for law enforcement to accommodate the amount of technology, gear and other accessories patrol officers are tasked with hauling around in their cruisers.

Here is a look at both vehicles, along with when they can be expected to hit the streets.

Ford F-150 Lightning Pro SSV

First announced last summer, the 2023 Ford F-150 Lightning Pro Special Service Vehicle, which follows the introduction of the Ford Mustang Mach-E police package the previous year, continues the trend in law enforcement to bigger, more spacious models. Ford has had success with its pursuit-rated Ford F-150 Police Responder

“We're proud to offer America’s first electric police pickup truck to local government customers who can use the truck’s game-changing technology to help improve their productivity,” says Nate Oscarson, Ford Pro national government sales manager, in a statement.

An innovative feature called Pro Power Onboard turns the truck into a mobile generator that can

serve as a mobile power source to light up the scene of a crash or other incidents at night. The Lightning’s Mega Power Frunk, a front trunk, provides 14.1 cubic feet of extra lockable storage.

The 2023 Ford F-150 Lightning Pro SSV includes available sub-four-second 0-60 mph acceleration capabilities with a high-tech electric platform and innovation with Ford Pro’s real-time software and support. The truck is designed to handle specialized departmental needs outside of pursuit situations, such as assisting at a crash or crime scene or giving departments the ability to tow a boat or trailer.

The standard electric engine includes 452 horsepower, 775 lb.-ft. of torque, 7,700-pound towing capacity and a maximum payload of 2,235 with a standard-range battery and sub-four-second 0-60 mph acceleration.

The 2023 Ford F-150 Lightning is produced at the Rouge Electric Vehicle Center in Dearborn, Michigan. Production for the 2023 model year is expected to conclude in November 2023.

Chevrolet Blazer EV PPV

The all-new 2024 Blazer EV PPV is slated to be Chevrolet’s first pursuit-rated all-electric law enforcement vehicle. “Chevy’s commitment to meeting the needs of law enforcement is rooted in decades of cooperation with police agencies across North America,” says Ed Peper, U.S. vice president of GM Fleet, in a statement. “This purpose-built electrified Blazer EV PPV will have excellent pursuit performance, the reliability of a Chevrolet and fast-charging necessary to be a high-performance patrol vehicle.”

The Blazer EV PPV, based off the Blazer EV SS retail model, will be offered with specific accessories for law enforcement including skid plates, police-rated tires, steel wheels and additional emergency equipment support. It will also have the capability for light-duty towing for items such as radar trailers, as well as the capability for bicycle racks.

Chevrolet is utilizing the largest possible Ultium battery available for the Blazer EV PPV to support the electrical needs of a patrol car. Additionally, the Blazer EV PPV has a low center of gravity, thanks to the roughly 1,200-pound battery pack mounted low in the chassis. It also employs Brembo brakes based on the high-performance Blazer EV SS, which are designed to offer superior stopping power.

A Blazer Police Pursuit Vehicle (PPV) will be available to order in Fall 2023 for production Q1 of 2024.

This article appeared in the March/April issue of OFFICER Magazine.

About the Author

Paul Peluso | Editor

Paul Peluso is the Editor of OFFICER Magazine and has been with the Officer Media Group since 2006. He began as an Associate Editor, writing and editing content for Officer.com. Previously, Paul worked as a reporter for several newspapers in the suburbs of Baltimore, MD.

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