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San Mateo police get electric: New Zero electric motorcycle to start patrolling downtown soon
October 30, 2013, 05:00 AM By Samantha Weigel Daily Journal

The San Mateo Police department’s new 2013 Zero DS Police Motorcycle.

San Mateo police found an environmentally friendly way to cut costs through its purchase of an electric 2013 Zero DS Police Motorcycle to help patrol downtown, the department announced yesterday.

“This is an incredible opportunity for San Mateo police to continue exploring the cutting edge of promising technologies. We are excited to be beta-testing the best applications for these new motors in keeping with our city’s goals of sustainability and lowering our carbon footprint, while expanding our enforcement equipment and tactics,” San Mateo Police Chief Susan Manheimer said in a press release.

Police will be testing different uses of the Zero motorcycle to determine how to use it most efficiently and effectively. San Mateo police chose to start testing the uses of the bike by immediately adding it to its downtown patrol unit.

“It was truly an easy decision for our department to integrate Zero into our current fleet of motorcycles. As a small community, we wanted a motorcycle that could easily maneuver its way through our downtown traffic quietly and efficiently without disrupting the community,” Deputy Police Chief Michael Callagy said in a press release.

Zero’s 100 percent electric powertrain is quiet, doesn’t require routine maintenance and the batteries are fully recyclable, according to the Scotts Valley-based company’s website. The motorcycles can last up to 135 city miles on one charge and can reach speeds up to 95 mph, said John Lloyd, vice president of Zero Motorcycles’ global sales and a San Mateo resident.

“The motorcycles are able to last an entire shift on one charge lowering the departments operating costs and allowing resources to be extended for more security and a safer community,” Callagy said in a press release.

Unlike other electric vehicles, a Zero can be charged from practically anywhere, only requiring a 110 outlet, Lloyd said.

Zero partnered with cities like Monterey, Santa Cruz and Scotts Valley law enforcement agencies to develop a bike that suits police needs, Lloyd said.

The relatively quiet engine allows officers to communicate more effectively when riding alongside one another. The SMPD’s Zero will start out on the narrow but level downtown streets; however, it has been said to perform well on rougher terrains, said San Mateo police Sgt. Dave Norris.

“Highly reliable and nimble, and operating at truly minimal fuel costs, the Zero motorcycle offers our officers a hybrid performance option that is equally comfortable on San Mateo’s roadways as it is winding through tough-to-navigate terrain in both urban and rural environments,” Norris said.

The bikes are meant for cities like San Mateo or San Francisco where maneuverability is critical, Lloyd said.

“What police look for in any type of vehicle they use, but especially for motorcycles, it has to be able to perform in very tight and confined areas. It needs to be able to operate at slow speeds but at the same time be able to get up to very high speeds,” Lloyd said.

The police kit model motorcycles range from about $17,000-20,000. Annual fuel costs are cut down between 80-90 percent and maintenance costs are cut down between 75-95 percent, Lloyd said.

“It’s a high-tech vehicle that’s simple to maintain, and that’s what police departments really want,” Lloyd said.

The company is in the midst of an eight-week evaluation phase with the Los Angles Police Department to continue to develop identify uses for the bikes and law enforcement agencies across the world have begun to use Zero motorcycles as a reliable alternative to traditional motorcycles, Lloyd said.

“Everybody’s watching operating costs and that’s a big thing when it comes to cities and city management. Zero motorcycles greatly reduce the burden of fuel, maintenance and all types of operating costs,” Lloyd said.

San Mateo police officers have already given the electric motorcycle praise saying it’s just, if not more, responsive than a traditional motorcycle, Norris said.

The San Mateo Zero will be on the streets soon, but it’ll be easier to see than it will be to hear.

(650) 344-5200 ext. 106



Tags: police, mateo, lloyd, motorcycles, costs, motorcycle,

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