SNOHOMISH COUNTY, Wash, September 21, 2021 – The Snohomish County Sheriff’s Office announced on June 8 that it will search for an all-electric patrol vehicle to add to its fleet and help promote clean energy.
Currently Sherriff’s Office personnel drive 3.5 million miles per year using the existing 250 patrol vehicles, 30 of which are fuel-efficient hybrids. By selecting an all-electric patrol vehicle, the Sheriff’s Office hopes to lead the way toward clean energy and contribute to the County’s Sustainable Operations Action Plan which aims to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from transportation.
The all-electric vehicle will serve as a fully functioning police patrol vehicle with the ability to respond to emergency calls, carry equipment, transport arrestees, make traffic stops, and perform daily police work.
“The vehicle assignment will shift from time to time during the project to test its abilities – three months or so here and there to test out other uses – traffic enforcement, DUI patrol, Office of Neighborhoods, proactive patrols,” Courtney O’Keefe, Director of Communication, Snohomish County Sherriff’s Office, told the Lynnwood Times.
While many of the details are yet to be determined, the model selected for this project was the Tesla Model Y, which the Sherriff’s Office plans to obtain in the next month.
The Tesla Model Y is a fully-electric, five-passenger vehicle that can travel an estimated 326 miles per charge. The vehicle can travel up to 162 miles on just 15 minutes of charging at one of Tesla’s 25,000 supercharge stations, although any charging station is sufficient. The vehicle offers 360 degrees of rear, side, and forward facing cameras with up to 250 meters of range. Ultrasonic sensors assist in detecting nearby vehicles to avoid collisions and aid parking.
The model has a AWD dual motor – a motor in front and a motor in the rear – one optimized for power and the other optimized for range. This motor also allows the car to continue operating after one motor breaks down, ensuring drivers’ safe arrival at their destination. The Model Y also has a 15-inch touchscreen, an autopilot function, and can accelerate from 0 to 60 miles per hour in 3.5 seconds, reaching a top speed of 155 miles per hour. It began production in January 2020 and started deliveries around March 2020. It retails at around $53,990.
“This is a test project, and we will track savings, costs, performance, [and] abilities” O’Keefe told the Lynnwood Times.
In Snohomish County, many cities have begun to consider these options. While the city of Lynnwood does not have a fully-electric vehicle in their fleet yet, Julie Moore, Public Affairs Officer for the City of Lynnwood, says they have begun studying what would need to be done to add one.
“The City of Lynnwood and the Lynnwood Police Department do not have immediate plans to deploy electric cars, [but] we are currently studying what would be needed to start adding electric cars and charging stations to our fleet and facility,” Moore told the Lynnwood Times.
The city of Everett is well on its way to replace its patrol vehicles with all-electric models. Mayor Cassie Franklin informed the Lynnwood Times that, in an effort to pursue greener options in their city, vehicles in need of replacement are being replaced with all-electric models moving forward.
In addition to switching to all-electric police vehicles, Everett introduced two new all-electric transit buses in March, bringing the fleet of electric buses to nine under phase two of Everett Transit’s Rethink Transit plan, an effort to help the city plan future transit options.
The Snohomish County Sheriff’s Office plans to have an all-electric vehicle selected and fully equipped for patrol by the end of 2021.