Blue Line

Conclusive results for the City of Repentigny’s electric patrol car pilot project

May 23, 2023  By Ville de Repentigny

May 23, 2023, Repentigny, Que. – Following a nine-month pilot project, the City of Repentigny and its police department (SPVR) invited police representatives and the media to attend a presentation on the results of its first use of a Ford Mach-E electric patrol car. During these past few months, the SPVR has got to know a vehicle that fully meets its needs as well as being an attractive eco-friendly option.

“This ground-breaking, innovative public safety project has helped to generate ideas on improving the ultimate work tool of patrol teams, particularly in terms of the car’s ergonomics and its visual identity, which ensures high visibility for citizens and other police officers,” said Chantal Routhier, President of the Commission de la sécurité urbaine.

Launched in 2019, the project was inspired by a desire to reduce the City of Repentigny’s greenhouse gases. After several months of research, development, analysis and construction, the SPVR—along with Quebec-based company Cyberkar—was able to put into service in August 2022 a modified patrol car adapted for emergency response work.

This testing phase permitted the collection of data on the vehicle’s general use in actual practice, including battery efficiency during various police interventions, in a variety of conditions and during continuous use.

“For almost a year, all eyes have been on the SPVR, awaiting the results of our initiative to electrify a fleet of patrol cars. Today, we’re proud to inform all Quebec municipalities that our project, which has been followed by the largest North American cities, is producing more than satisfactory results. We can now confirm that we will continue to electrify our fleet of police cars. Other analyses will be carried out in the coming months to properly assess our needs based on new technologies developed since 2019,” said Repentigny mayor Nicolas Dufour. “As a local government, we have a responsibility to protect the environment. We must keep finding new solutions and exploring different options for future generations.”

The Innovative Vehicle Institute, the organization responsible for collecting and analyzing data from the pilot project, presented its findings before more than 50 representatives of police forces, public agencies and the media.

The technology behind today’s electric vehicles fully meets the needs of patrollers in Repentigny. Throughout the pilot project, charging was never an issue for police operations, and it fit well into the patrollers’ schedules. The Mach-E Select’s 68 kWh battery proved to be sufficient for SPVR needs. However, the use of a dedicated fast charging station will be necessary to cover all the needs of general policing.

The project’s findings indicate that the vehicle promises significant environmental benefits, including generating eight times fewer GHG emissions over a five-year period; will become financially profitable in its second year of operation; and will be 22 per cent less expensive to operate.

“Of course, the pilot project had its share of challenges, necessitating various adjustments and corrections along the way. We’d like to thank our patrol car testers who demonstrated great patience and perseverance. It is very satisfying for our organization to have successfully completed this ambitious project and achieve positive results. Regarding the visual identity change, we’ve had positive reactions from people on the road. They can spot us much more easily and are happy to see the ‘blue vehicle’,” says Jean-Claude Roch, chief inspector in charge of the pilot project.

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