BMW wins the bid to supply LAPD with 100 electric cop cars

BMW announced…that it has won a contract with the Los Angeles Police Department to supply 100 of its compact i3 electric cars. The initiative is a part of LA’s “Sustainable City pLAn,” which includes a commitment to make half of its light-duty vehicle purchases fully electric by 2017. The i3s will be used in a “non-emergency” capacity — in other words, you won’t likely see them engaged in high-speed police chases, but rather for basic department transportation needs and community outreach.

LAPD’s move comes after a trial period where it pitted an i3 against a Tesla Model S P85D. The P85D is larger and much quicker, but overall cost may have factored into the decision — i3s start at just over $42,000, while the P90D (the P85D has since been discontinued) has a base price over $100,000. BMW cites the i3’s efficiency, reliability, connected car capabilities…and its network of service centers as reasons for securing the winning bid, but it’s also possible that BMW gave the department a nice fleet discount…

Of course, when you deploy a fleet of EVs, you need a way to charge them. LAPD is working with EV charger management company Greenlots to make that happen, installing 100 Level 2 chargers and four DC Fast Charge stations, which can charge a depleted i3 to 80 percent in half an hour or less.

The way the press release reads, folks in LA may start seeing the zero-emissions cop cars real soon now.

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