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The Windsor Police Service plans to replace older unmarked police vehicles with EVs as early as April next year. According to the statement made to the CBC, the new EVs won’t be used as cruisers for regular patrol, as there aren’t currently any manufacturers that offer “turnkey, fully electric police vehicles for front-line use.”

The service also notes that there are some concerns that need to be proactively addressed before EVs can be added to the fleet for regular patrol duties, like traffic enforcement or crime scene response. Specifically, these concerns relate to acceleration capability, as well as performance in extreme heat or cold.

“I don’t know the answer to that. It may not make a big difference at all … there might be some kind of dip in performance,” said Barry Horrobin, director of planning and physical resources for Windsor police. “There should be very little fear once we commit to buying one, because all of our concerns will have been addressed by that point.”

As for charging accessibility, the Windsor Police force plans to install EV charging stations (both for public and police use) by March 2023 at their downtown headquarters, the training facility in the west end and the collision reporting centre on Jefferson Avenue.

Horrobin also notes that while they’ve been looking at electrifying their fleets for years, making the switch to electric any sooner simply wouldn’t be a good business decision, as they wouldn’t have the on-property infrastructure to support it.

As it stands, the Windsor Police Service has 12 hybrid police vehicles and, although these vehicles have helped reduce fuel consumption slightly, the team has noticed a monthly increase of roughly $16,000 due to the recent surge in gas prices.

But according to Horrobin, surging gas prices aren’t the only source of motivation. “There are other reasons why electrification is important — environmental benefits of electric vehicles versus gas- powered vehicles and the fossil fuel issue. We are a public service provider. We have an ethical responsibility to the community to lead by example,” he explained.

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