The Hyattsville, Maryland, police department operates the first Chevrolet Bolt EV police pursuit vehicle, and perhaps to the surprise of some, it’s adored.
Chevrolet highlighted the Bolt EV police car in an issue of its “Find New Roads” owners magazine. And the idea for an electric police car came from Sergeant Richard Hartnett. Hartnett first floated the idea of a Bolt EV PPV after learning of its 238-mile range. Other electric cars couldn’t match the affordability or range requirement the department needed. Without the need for gasoline, the Bolt EV may even help the department lower its operating costs.
The 36-year police veteran worked with the Maryland Energy Administration to obtain a grant that afforded the Bolt EV and two public charging stations. From there, the department had the electric car outfitted with all necessary police gear: two-way radio, computer, sirens, graphics, and lighting.
After the department had its concerns addressed over idle times and usability (the department installed a special device that automatically disconnects all aftermarket equipment 60 minutes after the vehicle’s ignition has been turned off), the Bolt EV was cleared for patrol duty.
Hartnett said the Bolt EV’s 238-mile estimated range is plenty of a shift and its quick acceleration holds its own in surface street pursuits. He thinks the Bolt EV PPV is a sign of things to come.
“When I’m patrolling in the Bolt EV, I’m out there doing all of the things that other officers do,” said Hartnett. “But I’m not polluting the air, and I don’t have any of the other problems that gas-burning vehicles do. It’s clear to me that EVs like the Bolt EV certainly have a place in law enforcement.”
It’s been a year since the Bolt EV entered duty, and so successful that the department has begun looking into adding a second one to its fleet.