Police And Scooter In Their Duties

New York Police have found a way to help save the planet and perhaps sneak up on bad guys at the same time: an all-electric, ultra-quiet scooter,

The New York Police Department will begin road testing four of the plug-in Vectrix scooters early next month

The 36,000-officer NYPD has been looking for ways to retool its massive motor fleet to guzzle less gas and inflict less harm on the environment. A handful of NYPD hybrid cars and so-called flex-fuel vehicles, which can run on both gasoline and ethanol, are already on the road.

Vectrix recently approached several big city police departments with the sleek, two-wheel scooters, but the NYPD was the first to take a serious look, said Andrew MacGowen, president of the Rhode Island-based company.

MacGowen said the Vectrix scooters, assembled in Poland, are the first all-electric vehicles to be government-certified to travel on any highway, street or road.

The Vectrix, which has a battery pack, is heavier than the Piaggio, but with a top speed of more than 60 mph, it’s nearly as fast. And riders cruise past the fuel pump: The scooters can be recharged simply by plugging into a standard outlet for two hours. MacGowen said recharging costs a fraction of refueling , a savings he says would quickly cover the difference in price with Piaggios, which cost the NYPD about half as much.

The Vectrix can only travel 40 to 60 miles per charge, but police officials said they may be willing to sacrifice some range for zero emissions. Plus, the scooters would have the dual benefit of “reducing air pollution and noise pollution,” said Robert Martinez, the NYPD fleet director.”

This post is originally published in December 2007.

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