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Published on June 9th, 2016 | by Roy L Hales


Los Angeles EV Police Fleet Gets 100 Electric BMWs

June 9th, 2016 by  

Originally posted on the ECOreport.

After a year-long test of two Model S P85D loaner cars and the all-electric BMW i3, an important announcement was made this morning. Greenlots, the City of Los Angeles, Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD), and BMW of North America are partnering to launch the new Los Angeles EV police fleet.


Los Angeles’ EV Police Fleet

“The city of Los Angeles has a plan to make 80% of all fleet purchases electric by 2025. LAPD is the first department to start moving towards that initiative. Their goal is to get to over 500 EVs over the next five years. In this initial phase, Greenlots is supplying 100 Level 2 chargers and 4 DC fast chargers, along with our smart charging platform that bridges the electrical mobility demand-side management behind the meter for energy storage, which enables the LAPD to scale up the number of vehicles they have without needing to scale up the infrastructure every time they deploy a new vehicle,” explained said Brett Hauser, CEO of Greenlots.

Those first 100 vehicles will be 2016 BMW i3s, with an approximate range of 85 miles on a charge.

When Level 2 Chargers Can Be Advantageous

If the number of fast chargers seems less than what might be expected for a police force, that’s because these are not meant to be patrol or pursuit vehicles.

“They are being used primarily in the motor pool. That is to say, they will be used by LAPD officers to go back and forth between meetings or other point-to-point drives. As such, they pose no threat to public safety as response vehicles are concerned since they will not be responding to emergencies,” said a spokesperson for the City of Los Angeles.

“If you think about the characteristics of a DC fast charger, it is a full charge in 26 minutes. It is spikey or peaky in nature and that can have an impact on the overall cost of energy consumption (especially during peak demand) and you might not have enough capacity to handle multiple DC fast chargers. Greenlots looks at a wholistic solution, especially when it comes to DC fast charging. You look for ways to mitigate that impact. That is through response and through energy storage to provide capacity when it is needed,” explained Hauser.

He added, “In practicality, a DC Fast Charger will cost four or five times as much as a Level 2 Charger. When you have an initial 100 vehicles, there is no need to do a fast charge for each of these and you are not going to put a DC fast charger at every parking stall, but you can put a Level 2.”

Photo Credit: Courtesy Greenlots

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About the Author

is the President of Cortes Community Radio , CKTZ 89.5 FM, where he has hosted a half hour program since 2014, and editor of the the ECOreport, a website dedicated to exploring how our lifestyle choices and technologies affect the West Coast of North America. He writes for both writes for both Clean Technica and PlanetSave on Important Media. He is a research junkie who has written over 1,600 since he was first published in 1982. Roy lives on Cortes Island, BC, Canada.

  • Oil4AsphaltOnly

    As a southern california resident, the decision to go with the i3 was terrible! And why wasn’t the Volt in consideration? The volt would’ve been cheaper to acquire, would’ve gone probably as many EV’s miles (due to the deployment of L2 chargers throughout the city) as the i3, has an emergency generator that isn’t crippled by software, and is a domestic brand!!

    As a california government entity, I think their first choice should’ve been a product from a local manufacturer (*cough tesla*), but I get that the capital costs are probably unacceptable … but choosing the i3 over other products made by Ford (fusion energi) and GM?!

    Their saving grace is that this is a small block purchase, and that maybe they’ll get it right for the other blocks.

    • Mike Dill

      While I agree that they should have bought local, this block of cars is for the supervisors, and they probably liked the ‘idea’ of having a BMW. Once the supervisors get to like the EV concept, getting other EV’s into the fleet will be a lot easier.

  • Marion Meads

    They should have saved the money and waited for the Tesla Model 3. Of course Tesla can speed up their priority.

    • Mike333

      These are on the road today. Tesla’s model 3 won’t be out for a year and a half.

      Don’t be so impatient. Tesla can bid the next proposal.

  • JamesWimberley

    LAPD spokesperson: “they pose no threat to public safety as response vehicles are concerned ..”

    Strange. Why should evs pose a hazard as response or patrol vehicles? They aren’t less reliable than ICEVs, the contrary. City police departments work in defined areas, limited by jurisdiction; the maximum distance their cars will need to go is known, and even in LA this is well within the range of current leading evs. This seems to be a projection of range anxiety on to the public.

    • Al Rowland

      There are known issues with the i3’s range and cliff like performance drop near discharge. Emergency response would test both.
      See coverage of a class action lawsuit brewing in Germany.

  • JeffJL

    100% in agreement with the decision to go with L2 chargers in place of L3 chargers.

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