The LAPD Is Putting the Cutest Cop Car Ever on the Streets
Whoop-whoop. Excuse me, sir? We're going to need you to back it up and put the water bottle in the appropriate recycling bin.
Is this L.A. law and order in the 21st century?
Mayor Eric Garcetti and Los Angeles Police Department Chief Charlie Beck announced today that the LAPD is putting 100 BMW i3 fully electric vehicles on the street.
The department now has the largest fleet of "pure EV" municipal law enforcement vehicles in the nation, the mayor's office said in a statement.
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Take that, Portland.
The cars, which the mayor's office said would be cheaper to power than gas-engine vehicles, are good for nearly 100 miles of "emission-free driving" per full charge and are "the most fuel-efficient EPA-certified vehicle," BMW said in a statement.
But they don't exactly inspire fear and respect, which is what the old Ford Crown Victoria Interceptors did.
Those sedans had a 250-horsepower V8, beefed-up suspension, a prisoner cage in the back and, sometimes, front-mounted push bars so cops could spin out bad guys' vehicles with the PIT maneuver.
The i3 ($42,400, or $46,250 for models with gas engines that can double driving range) is a 170-horsepower plush toy for the road. It's, well, adorbs.
"This isn't just a gimmick," Garcetti said at a news conference today. "This is the future."
Indeed: Before you start to believe the LAPD is trading in testosterone for patchouli oil, know that these cars won't be used for pursuits, patrols or any other fun copper business anytime soon.
Beck explained that most of the vehicles in the department's fleet are used for nonpatrol activity.
"While our new electric cars will be used only for non-emergency purposes, we will continue to monitor and test new generations of vehicles for their potential to serve as patrol cars," Beck said.
BMW states that these i3s will be used as "transportation vehicles for officers and in community outreach initiatives."
Good thing. Jay Leno could have easily smoked one of these with his 1989 Ford Festiva (which, of course, has been heavily modified).
The city will be leasing the vehicles, but $1.5 million was set aside for 104 charging stations, including four fast chargers that can juice up these cars in less than an hour, the mayor's office stated. These can power the EVs for "much less than the price of gas," Beck said.
Meanwhile, LAPD's imposing Ford Police Interceptor Utility vehicles, essentially muscle-bound Explorers, will still loom large in your rearview.
Enjoy them while you can.
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