Government Fleet Top News

LAPD’s Battery-Electric BMWs Appear Barely Used

January 19, 2018

Photo of BMW i3 hatchbacks courtesy of City of Los Angeles
Photo of BMW i3 hatchbacks courtesy of City of Los Angeles

The Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) made waves in 2016 when it decided to lease 100 battery-electric BMW i3 hatchbacks. But according to a local news report, those vehicles have been barely used since they were deployed.

Mileage logs obtained by CBS Los Angeles show that, between the project’s start in April 2016 and August 2017, many of the vehicles were only driven a couple thousand miles, and some had less than 1,000 miles logged. One vehicle has been listed as “in for service” since May 2016, with 400 miles logged.

CBS reporters also found several incidents of possible misuse. The news station caught several employees on camera driving the i3s for personal use, including picking up lunch and driving to a nail salon outside of city limits.

When reached for comment, an LAPD representative said the agency had no statement at this time.

The LAPD chose the BMWs after the agency spent almost a year testing the i3 as well as the Tesla Model S. When the vehicles were first purchased, LAPD Chief Charlie Beck noted that the i3s would only be used for non-emergency purposes.

Comments

  1. 1. mc [ January 23, 2018 @ 05:18AM ]

    "When the vehicles were first purchased, LAPD Chief Charlie Beck noted that the i3s would only be used for non-emergency purposes."

    There you go, case solved. In what manner would a police department use a 'non emergency' vehicle, especially one that is a compact electric with a short range? Answer: to pick up lunch. It's not necessarily a misuse of the vehicles, but a misuse of the funds. Someone with the power of writing checks (and little knowledge of fleet management) gave in to the calls for a 'greener' fleet and this is the result. The fact that there are any of these cars with any mileage at all on them shows that the LAPD actually gave the cars a fair shot. But the low mileage on them shows they had little use for them, or little use for so many of them. These cars would probably work better in other city departments, just not the LAPD. Personally, I would've opted for 2-4 different model hybrids for a small percentage of the patrol car fleet as a test run, and based on feedback, cycle in more of the better performers. Until infrastructure catches up and battery range improves, many fleets (especially police) will not be ready for plug-in electrics.

  2. 2. Luc Grenier [ January 26, 2018 @ 08:09AM ]

    Don't you guy's have actual news to report. This is a waste of time

 

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