The Los Angeles Police Department has put 100 BMW i3s on order in an attempt to cut down on running costs. Although they offer good low-down torque, the police department won't be using the little BMWs in pursuit situations, instead relegating them to more mundane runabout status.
LA residents can relax because the city's criminals won't be able to outrun the cops by simply driving further than the i3's 300 km (186 mi) range. Instead, the cars will be used by the department's workforce for getting to meetings or site visits, or by serving officers doing routine errands.
But why has the police department bothered with electric cars when they're more expensive than regular gasoline cars? Well, Police Chief Charlie Beck says the fleet of i3s will save help save taxpayer money in the long run.
"Electric vehicle procurement made sense for taxpayers and for the environment," Beck says. "Every dollar we save from lower maintenance will go back into law enforcement to keep our city safe. And 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."
The department will run the cars on a three-year lease, before reassessing the options out there. As a part of the deal with BMW, LAPD mechanics will be given the requisite training to work on the i3.
Also new to the police department are 104 charging stations, which have been purchased and installed to complement the new EV fleet.