Vancouver Police Department rolls out new rides

The Vancouver Police Department has added two new electric motorcycles to it fleet.

The department is the second in Canada to use fully-electric motorcycles for police operations. Chief Adam Palmer said the new vehicles will join the department’s existing fleet of 35 Harley Davidson motorcycles, but will serve a specific function.

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“These new electric motorcycles will work well in high pedestrian and cyclist areas and will allow our officers to safely interact with the public,” he said. “And, since there is no exhaust and less noise, the bikes will be less disruptive.”

The new motorcycles will primarily be used downtown and in the west end, Palmer said. If needed, the vehicles could quickly be deployed to other areas of the city.

The department already has two fully-electric cars and eight hybrids, which are used by investigators and administrative staff. Palmer said the department will be adding another 20 fully-electric cars this year.

“It’s exciting to see VPD be one of the first police agencies in Canada to roll-out clean, green and quiet electric motorcycles as part of their fleet,” said Mayor Gregor Robertson. “The VPD’s pure electric motorcycles are a welcome addition to the city, who already has the largest municipal electric vehicle fleet in Canada. These new electric motorcycles will help the VPD keep pedestrian and cyclists safe, while carefully and efficiently maneuvering through high traffic areas.”

Designed by California-based Zero Motorcycles specifically for use by police agencies, the motorcycles have a range of up to 227 kilometres in the city on a full charge and have a top speed of 165 kilometres per hour.  They cost around $30,000 each.

The company will be at ElectraFest 2017 on Saturday. Now in its 22nd year, ElectraFest is described as Vancouver’s signature electric vehicle event.

Electric vehicles are becoming more and more popular.

Just this week, Volvo announced that all models launched after 2019 will be electric or hybrid. BMW has also said the company has plans to electrify all its models by 2020, and Volkswagon committed to spending $2 billion in the U.S. on electric vehicle infrastructure.

jkerr@vancourier.com

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