Ford and Chevy each announced the release of electric vehicles specially-made for law enforcement: the Ford F-150 Lightning Pro SSV and the Chevrolet Blazer EV PPV.  -  Photo: Canva/Ford/Chevy/Government Fleet

Ford and Chevy each announced the release of electric vehicles specially-made for law enforcement: the Ford F-150 Lightning Pro SSV and the Chevrolet Blazer EV PPV.

Photo: Canva/Ford/Chevy/Government Fleet

Ford F-150 Lightning Pro SSV Built Ford Tough

After more than 70 years of providing police departments with vehicles, Ford Motor Company is extending this legacy in the form of the newly announced 2023 Ford F-150 Lightning Pro Special Service Vehicle. This four-door electric pickup truck combines Built Ford Tough power, including the available sub-four-second 0-60 mph acceleration capabilities, with a high-tech electric platform in addition to Ford Pro’s real-time software and support.

Through the Ford Pro intelligence platform, police departments will be able to connect the SSV to software tools that optimize vehicle charging.  -  Photo: Ford

Through the Ford Pro intelligence platform, police departments will be able to connect the SSV to software tools that optimize vehicle charging.

Photo: Ford

“You’ve got the amazing performance of the F-150 plus more,” said Nate Oscarson, Ford Pro national government sales manager. “We’re excited to support our officers, and this is just a natural extension to make sure that they have a full range of police-centric products for whatever their needs. For those that are ready to make the transition to all-electric, this is going to suit their needs perfectly.”

Through the Ford Pro intelligence platform, police departments will be able to connect the SSV to software tools that optimize vehicle charging, monitor fleet operations, provide vehicle diagnostics related to maintenance, and meet servicing needs, all of which can help fleets improve uptime.

Reduced bolsters accommodate officers exiting and entering the vehicle.  -  Photo: Ford

Reduced bolsters accommodate officers exiting and entering the vehicle.

Photo: Ford

Ford Pro E-Telematics can schedule remote pre-conditioning to the cab for optimal range on even the coldest days, provide custom charging alerts so fleet managers know if the vehicle has been plugged in at night, display the state of charge for vehicles on the road, and more.

Oscarson notes the importance of the incorporation of telematics as it can allow departments to better understand EVs and improve vehicle usage.

“One of the big benefits to switching from gas to electric is the savings an electric powertrain can provide,” Oscarson said. “We see how important these savings can be with our police customers today in our hybrid vehicles. One hybrid alone can reduce fuel expenses up to $7,000 a year, based on around $4.10 per gallon gas. So, imagine what an electric vehicle can do with the duty cycles that have long idle times like our police customers; we know fleet managers are really going to be impressed.”

Police departments will find additional storage and electric features that cater to the job.  -  Photo: Ford

Police departments will find additional storage and electric features that cater to the job.

Photo: Ford

The Pro Power Onboard creates a power supply for police to tap into without the need for an external generator. Officers can now arrive at roadside emergencies and plug into 2.4 kilowatts of Pro Power Onboard to power lights, compressors or other electrical equipment being used. A 220A DC-DC converter provides ample voltage for devices such as radios, computers, and lights.

“You can also power a job site for up to three days; that’s the level of power that we’re talking about,” Oscarson said. “Police won’t have to bring a generator. And again, typically in an emergency situation, especially one where you lose power, you’re going to want some source of power to be able to run equipment and run operations.”

Oscarson points out a large factor in the electrical truck component is the amount of time police vehicles spend idling. And if a vehicle with an internal combustion engine is idling, gasoline is being used.

“Normally you would need to have the engine running to keep the cabin air-conditioned, to run the computer system, turn the lights on, turn the radios on, turn on all the equipment,” Oscarson said. “What’s great about our police lineup, including the Lightning and hybrids, is that while the vehicle is idling, you can run all of those systems without using a drop of gasoline, because we’re running all that off the battery.”

In addition to the vehicle’s electric capabilities, police departments will also find additional storage and interior designs that cater to the job. A Mega Power Frunk, complete with 120V Pro Power Onboard outlet and USB ports, allows for officers to store up to 400 pounds of equipment within a 14.1 cubic foot cargo area. The front-end vehicle storage space is ideal for additional on-the-job equipment with the benefit of a lock feature. The frunk is also waterproof, can easily be hosed out and provides tie-downs for storage items. The frunk offers easy access for upfitters to locate a 220-amp DC-DC power source.

The truck’s police-grade heavy duty cloth seats feature reduced bolsters to accommodate officers exiting and entering the vehicle while utilizing duty belts worn on the job.

“It’s now a lot easier to get in and out of the seats,” Oscarson said. “If you think about the daily life of a police officer, they’re getting in and out of their vehicle multiple times, almost constantly, so it just makes it a lot easier. Plus, they’re heavy duty so they’re not going to resist a lot of hard usage.”

Vinyl rear seats and vinyl flooring are incorporated for easier cleaning.  -  Photo: Ford

Vinyl rear seats and vinyl flooring are incorporated for easier cleaning.

Photo: Ford

Built-in steel anti-intrusion plates in the front seatbacks provide an added safety feature for officers. Vinyl rear seats and vinyl flooring are also incorporated for easier cleaning. Roof-mounted LED warning beacons are available in red/blue and amber/white while an upfit-friendly reinforced instrument panel top tray allows for easy mounting of police equipment.

“I think that one of the big things is that these vehicles are driven, in some cases, 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and so durability and reliability and quality are all super important,” Oscarson said. “Because if you have a vehicle go down, and it’s out of service, you’re not able to be out there serving and protecting the community. So, we have to do everything possible to make sure that doesn’t happen. As everybody is switching over making the transition to electric vehicles we want to be right there at the forefront to help our police and law enforcement make that switch.”

A mega power frunk allows for officers to store up to 400 pounds of equipment.  -  Photo: Ford

A mega power frunk allows for officers to store up to 400 pounds of equipment.

Photo: Ford

Features include:

  • Interior: 12-inch digital cluster screen and 12-inch landscape-style touchscreen on the center stack.
  • Exterior: Mega Power Frunk gives officers 14.1 cubic feet of lockable cargo area in the front and offers easy access for upfitters to locate a 220-amp DC-DC power source.
  • Targeted performance and capability: 452 horsepower, 775 lb.-ft. of torque, 7,700-pound towing capacity and 2,235 maximum payload with a standard-range battery, and sub-four-second 0-60 mph acceleration, 580 horsepower, 775 lb.-ft. of torque, and 10,000-pound towing capability with the extended-range battery.
  • Technology: Intelligent Range, SYNC 4, over-the-air Ford Power Up software updates and Ford Co-Pilot360 technology, including Automatic Emergency Braking and Blindspot Information System (BLIS) with Cross-Traffic Alert.

Cost Savings Come Standard with 2024 Chevrolet Blazer EV PPV

The introduction of the 2024 Chevrolet Blazer EV in July marked a new era for the company’s electric SUV design while adding specially-developed models for police departments. Chevy’s aspirational EV is a midsized vehicle that offers 1LT, 2LT, and RS options, as well as Chevy’s first-ever electric SS performance model. Chevrolet will also offer a pursuit-rated Police Pursuit Vehicle model for police fleet applications.

The PPV will be based on the Chevrolet Blazer SS model.  -  Photo: Chevy

The PPV will be based on the Chevrolet Blazer SS model.

Photo: Chevy

 “We got our law enforcement board involved and got a lot of great feedback from them about things they wanted to see in this vehicle, so here we are and it’s fantastic,” said Ed Peper, vice president of GM Fleet. “It has the pedigree of our SS models. What does that mean? It’s essentially zero to 60 in pretty close to four seconds.” On the police pursuit side, departments can expect 557 horsepower and up to 648 pound-foot of torque with a Wide Open Watts mode enabling the 0 to 60 sprint.

The EV PPV, which is based on the Blazer EV SS model, will have the largest Ultium battery in the lineup and has the option for rear-wheel drive or a dual motor all-wheel drive system.  Low and wide proportions of the Ultium Platform and the positioning of the battery pack will create a comparatively low center of gravity to support stability while driving.

The EV features a 17.7-inch-diagonal customizable infotainment touchscreen.  -  Photo: Chevy

The EV features a 17.7-inch-diagonal customizable infotainment touchscreen.

Photo: Chevy

The vehicle will be able to achieve 11.5 kW at level 2 AC charging for home and public charging and standard DC public fast-charging capability of up to 190 kW. And depending on the model and its fast charge capability, vehicles will be able to get up to 78 miles of range within a roughly 10-minute time of charging.

“When you look at the total cost of ownership savings for a law enforcement agency, the payback is almost instantaneous. And the reason that is so is because, number one, you’ve got fuel costs versus electricity, which is obviously very much in favor of electricity right now. Secondly, you have extremely low maintenance costs on these vehicles and have 50% less moving parts. And then the third component of total cost of ownership would be the idle, or essentially no idle or no idling expense,” Peper said of the zero-tailpipe-emissions PPV. “And that’s a huge expense on an internal combustion engine vehicle because there’s a lot of times that police vehicles are sitting still, and it could be the winter and they’re running the heater and they’re running their equipment. But we can do all of this now with virtually no idle expense at all.”

Depending on the model and fast charge capability, vehicles will be able to get up to 78 miles of range within a roughly 10-minute charging time.  -  Photo: Chevy

Depending on the model and fast charge capability, vehicles will be able to get up to 78 miles of range within a roughly 10-minute charging time.

Photo: Chevy

EV charging is made easier with the vehicle’s Ultium Charge 360 network, which is designed to help drivers easily locate their next charging station, including more than 100,000 publicly available charging points in the U.S. and Canada. Through the MyChevy app, a driver will gain access to navigation to charging stations along with route planning to locate and plan a route to the charging station.

With an electric vehicle like the Blazer, there is also more interior room. Police-grade front seats are designed specifically for officers on patrol while additional room in the rear may assist with transporting individuals or moving equipment between scenes. Standard unprogrammed steering wheel buttons will enable upfitters to connect a Push to Talk function for radios and emergency warning equipment operation.

The cabin is spacious, allowing ample room to accommodate emergency equipment and gear. The SS is shown here.  -  Photo: Chevy

The cabin is spacious, allowing ample room to accommodate emergency equipment and gear. The SS is shown here.

Photo: Chevy

A standard upfitter wiring harness reduces upfit times with added connectors with the standard upfitter vehicle module providing the necessary signals for the vehicle to connect to aftermarket equipment.

A key feature to the EV is a hands-free start. Once the driver enters the vehicle, they can press the brake pedal after closing the door and the vehicle is ready to go. Additional hands-free features include super cruise driver-assisted technology for compatible roads and a tailgate that opens when the key fob is recognized by sensors at the vehicle’s rear.

Hands-free technology includes a tailgate that opens when the key fob is sensed.  -  Photo: Chevy

Hands-free technology includes a tailgate that opens when the key fob is sensed.

Photo: Chevy

“I think in many cases, that’s going to be really important when you have to jump in a vehicle and get going very quickly,” Peper said.

And with the ease to get on the road, the Blazer EV makes it just as easy for officers to make unexpected stops. The PPV will use the Blazer SS high-performance front Brembo brakes when drivers need to stop in a short distance. A Regen Braking feature will be able to convert the kinetic energy of the vehicle’s forward momentum into electricity stored in the battery pack to maximize the driving range. It also includes one-pedal driving, which can slow the vehicle to a full stop, using only the accelerator pedal. 

Officers will be able to take on light-duty towing while also having the option to add bicycle racks with a dealer-installed Class 1 trailer hitch. The PPV features a large rear cargo space with the false floor, featured in the civilian model, removed to create additional space. A standard rear camera mirror offers a wide field of view that compensates for prisoner partitions, cargo barriers, and vertical weapon mounts.

The EV features a 17.7-inch-diagonal customizable infotainment touchscreen.  -  Photo: Chevy

The EV features a 17.7-inch-diagonal customizable infotainment touchscreen.

Photo: Chevy

The EV PPV 9C1 police package includes vinyl flooring, a police-spec center console, and vinyl rear seat. A 09C3 Street Appearance package will be available as well and will feature carpeting, cloth rear seats, and the regular-production center console.

“This is a going to be a perfect complement to our zero-emission, zero-congestion, zero-accidents strategy for the company,” Peper said. “There are just a lot of reasons why this is going to be super attractive for law enforcement.”

Features include:

  • Driving range options up to an available GM-estimated 320 miles on a full charge (depending on the trim).
  • 11.5 kW level 2 (AC) charging and standard DC public fast-charging capability of up to 190 kW, depending on the model, which enables about 78 miles of range to be added in 10 minutes, per GM estimates.
  • Large, intuitive 17.7-inch-diagonal customizable infotainment touchscreen.
  • Full LED exterior lighting, with choreographed walk-up/walk-away animation on RS and SS models.
  • Beautiful, spacious and sustainably crafted cabin made with soft-touch materials.
  • Available Super Cruise hands-free driving technology for compatible roads.
  • Advanced safety features intended to inspire confidence, including Reverse Automatic Braking and Advanced Park Assist.
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