The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) rolled out its new Ford Mustang Mach-E at the Federal Law Enforcement Training Centers’ Office of Cheltenham Operation in Maryland. The vehicle is the first of a variety of electric vehicles (EVs) DHS plans to field across its varied law enforcement missions throughout the homeland, according to a press release.
DHS is the first federal agency to debut a battery-electric vehicle (BEV) fitted for performing law enforcement functions.
"DHS is leading the charge among federal agencies to transition its fleet vehicles from internal combustion engines to zero-emission electric vehicles," said Deputy Secretary of Homeland Security John Tien. "As the nation’s third largest federal agency and largest law enforcement agency, DHS has an inventory of more than 50,000 vehicles, with law enforcement vehicles making up 60% of its fleet."
“DHS is proactively seeking to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, EVs have the potential to significantly improve federal fleet efficiency and reduce vehicle operation and maintenance costs,” said Acting Under Secretary for Management R. D. “Tex" Alles.
Testing for DHS Tasks
In April 2022, DHS completed an upfit of the Mach-E as a law enforcement vehicle with lights and sirens in accordance with Federal Protective Service (FPS) standards. The Mach-E is undergoing high-threshold testing by FPS to ensure it will meet the demands required of DHS law enforcement missions. According to the agency, the vehicle must be able to handle a variety of stresses including high speeds, maneuverability both on- and off-road, durability, endurance, and technical specifications. FPS is conducting controlled performance benchmarking, which includes building on existing performance data, and an operational assessment of the vehicle through real-world employment by law enforcement officers during their daily routines. FPS is also conducting cybersecurity assessments of the vehicle that will inform DHS of potential threats, vulnerabilities, and risks associated with the introduction of EVs into the fleet.
Going Green at DHS
In September 2021, the DHS secretary approved a Climate Action Plan, which establishes a longer-range outlook that emphasizes sustainability, energy and water resilience, and fleet electrification.
Additionally, President Joe Biden signed an executive order directing the federal government to acquire 100% zero-emission vehicles across all of its fleets by 2035. The order also requires 100% zero-emission light-duty vehicle acquisitions by 2027 — among other commitments to achieve zero emissions by 2050.