Zero Motorcycles of Santa Cruz, CA has introduced police-specific 2013 electric motorcycles for street and on/off road patrol uses. This follows two years of testing with local California law enforcement agencies and the London, England police.
I don’t know why I think these electric motorcycles are cool, but I do. I got to train on some of our big Kawasaki KZ1000’s back in the day, but I’m not a rider and I was never able to go to police motorcycle operator’s school. Something about not having sidecars for the dog. Still…
Electric cars for policemen are not currently on my wish list. When a neighboring jurisdiction got Prius’s for their homicide detectives, we snickered and got F/U’s in return. Sorry, dudes. The technology and cost are not quite in line with government purchases and patrol needs.
A salesman once brought over a few Segways with which to mess around–pavement versions and another for off pavement forays. I think a Segway is a blast to drive, but not while wearing the blue uniform for me, thanks.
Some of the benefits of their electric police motorcycle that are touted by Zero:
- Maintenance-free powertrain
- Life of motorcycle power pack
- Top speed of 95 MPH
- Maximum 132 miles range on a charge
- Regenerative braking
- Options for on or off-road use
- Accelerate instantly from a silent idle
- Extremely lightweight for greater maneuverability
- Ride without needing to shift
- Silently idle while among crowds
- Pursue subjects without engine noise
- Stealthily take off from a hideout
- Ride indoors or in close confines
- Leverage the advantage of surprise
- Socially responsible vehicle use
The entry level Zero police model, built on Zero’s ZF series, runs about $18,000. With lower costs to run and for maintenance, it may find its niche in these budget unfriendly times. I saw that Zero Motorcycles has an electric military stealth bike, based on their MX model, for use by the U.S. Special Operations Forces. Terry Herschner just finished a trans-America ride on a Zero that went 2,450 miles in 135 hours with no support team, but lots of plug-in stops.
I think there is going to be a real future for thoughtful plug-in electric vehicles.