a bolt ev from the blue article

2018-6-18 | Chevy New Roads Magazine

A Bolt EV from the Blue

A Maryland police department puts one of the first electric patrol vehicles on the streets.

When it comes to electric vehicles, Sergeant Richard Hartnett is all-in. “I’ve been a huge fan of EVs for years,” says the 36-year police veteran, who has spent the past several years with the Hyattsville Police Department in Maryland. He leased his first EV from a foreign manufacturer in 2015, but found himself frustrated by its low range and high cost—the same factors that have traditionally prevented EVs from being used by first responders and emergency services.

 

While many police departments across the country have used electric vehicles for non-patrol work like administrative or parking enforcement, Hartnett says he’s not aware of any fully electric vehicles being used for regular patrol duty, mostly due to range concerns. With a range of 238 miles with a full charge, the Bolt EV was the first EV Hartnett saw that could meet their requirements.

 

Hartnett explains that the Bolt EV had the combination of range and price his department needed. “When I first heard about the Bolt EV, I thought, ‘Wow,’” he says.

 

But vehicle cost and range weren’t the only advantages factoring into the Bolt EV’s potential as a patrol vehicle. It had other benefits for police work: They are quiet to operate and quick to accelerate should the need arise. The long-term savings on gas costs over traditional vehicles could also potentially reduce the department’s operating costs. It was enough to convince Hartnett of the Bolt EV’s value as a patrol vehicle.

The police department is taking a real step forward by having a car that is environmentally friendly.

Making the Transition

Working with the Maryland Energy Administration, Hartnett helped his city obtain a Maryland Smart Energy Communities grant that encourages local governments to adopt policies that lead to sustained energy savings, reduced use of petroleum for government vehicles, and increased renewable energy development. The grant enabled the purchase of the Bolt EV and two public outdoor charging stations.

 

The vehicle was outfitted with standard police equipment, including two-way radio, computer, sirens, and lighting. However, equipping an entirely new type of police vehicle with the proper gear presented unforeseen challenges. “The Bolt EV isn’t as wide as a standard patrol car, so we had to get creative,” Hartnett says. “The installation company did a great job. The vehicle turned out looking fantastic. Even the decals look great.”

 

The additional equipment prompted power considerations when it came to installing the emergency lights, siren, and radios. Considering that officers often leave their vehicles idling for long periods of time, the department conducted testing to ensure the vehicle’s viability in the field with the extra equipment added. In addition, they installed a special device that automatically disconnects all aftermarket equipment 60 minutes after the vehicle’s ignition has been turned off. With their concerns addressed, the department cleared the Bolt EV for its first patrol.

The Details Matter

200

HORSEPOWER

238

MILES ON A SINGLE CHARGE

266 LB.-FT.

OF TORQUE

Bolt EV on the scene

When Hartnett goes to the scene of a call, he says he gets a lot of questions. “You mean there’s no gas in that car?” or “There’s no oil or transmission? Wow, that’s really cool.”

EV on Patrol

As a smaller police department, Hyattsville often asks officers to take on many different roles, and Hartnett is no exception. Although he is the department’s “technical services manager,” meaning he spends a good portion of his time dealing with computer, radio, and other technology issues, he often ends up on patrol duty. And when he does, he’s in the Bolt EV.

 

He says that the public’s reaction has been overwhelmingly positive. “When I go to the scene of a call, I do get a lot of questions,” he says. “’You mean there’s no gas in that car?’ or ‘There’s no oil or transmission? Wow, that’s really cool.’”

 

But the true measure of a police vehicle is how it performs in its duties, and the Bolt EV has proven itself due to its quick acceleration and long range. Hartnett says that two common concerns about electric vehicles being used in police work—battery life and pursuing a suspect at high speed—turned out to be unfounded: The Bolt EV can easily get through a full shift with no range concerns, and it’s quick enough to keep up in a pursuit on surface streets.

 

The Bolt EV has been a strong PR boon for Hyattsville, which also plans to install 10 additional electric charging stations around the city.

 

“The people I talk to think the police department is taking a real step forward by having a car that is environmentally friendly,” Hartnett says. “I’ve also been getting calls from a lot of other police departments about how the Bolt EV is performing and whether or not it makes sense for them.”

A Taste of Things to Come

Do EVs have a future in police work? According to Hartnett, the answer is clear. “When I’m patrolling in the Bolt EV, I’m out there doing all of the things that other officers do,” says Hartnett. “But I’m not polluting the air, and I don’t have any of the other problems that gas-burning vehicles do. It’s clear to me that EVs like the Bolt EV certainly have a place in law enforcement.”

 

While the Bolt EV has been on the job for less than a year, it’s already proven effective enough for Hyattsville to look into obtaining a second one for the police department. And it’s also proven itself to Hartnett, who leased a Bolt EV for personal use a few months after he began using it as a patrol vehicle. For this veteran officer and longtime “EV-angelist,” the Bolt EV has been nothing short of a game changer.

 

“After we got the patrol cruiser and I saw what it could do, my girlfriend and I were so impressed that we ended the lease on our previous EV and picked up the Bolt EV,” Hartnett says. “I’ve been really impressed by what they have done with electric vehicles over the last few years, and I hope that our experience here in Hyattsville shows that there is a place in the future for all-electric emergency vehicles.”

 

STORY: KEVIN HATMAN/PHOTOGRAPHY: CLINT DAVIS

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  • EPA-estimated 238-mile EV range. Your actual range will vary based on several factors, including temperature, terrain, and driving conditions.

  • The Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price excludes destination freight charge, tax, title, license, dealer fees and optional equipment. Click here to see all Chevrolet vehicles' destination freight charges.

  • Dependability based on longevity: 1987 – July 2017 full-size pickup registrations.

  • The Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price excludes destination freight charge, tax, title, license, dealer fees and optional equipment. Click here to see all Chevrolet vehicles' destination freight charges.

  • MyLink functionality varies by model. Full functionality requires compatible Bluetooth and smartphone, and USB connectivity for some devices.

  • Do not use summer-only tires in winter conditions, as it would adversely affect vehicle safety, performance and durability. Use only GM-approved tire and wheel combinations. Unapproved combinations may change the vehicle’s performance characteristics. For important tire and wheel information, go to my.chevrolet.com/learn/tires or see your dealer.

  • With rear seats folded. Cargo and load capacity limited by weight and distribution

  • EPA-estimated 29 MPG city/39 highway with 5-speed manual transmission and 30 MPG city/38 highway with available Continuously Variable Transmission

  • EPA-estimated 29 MPG city/38 highway with 5-speed manual transmission and 30 MPG city/38 highway with available Continuously Variable Transmission.

  • Requires available Performance Exhaust or Z51 Performance Package.

  • Requires available Performance Exhaust or Z51 Performance Package.

  • If you decide to continue service after your trial, the subscription plan you choose will automatically renew thereafter and you will be charged according to your chosen payment method at then-current rates. Fees and taxes apply. To cancel you must call SiriusXM at 1-866-635-2349. See SiriusXM Customer Agreement for complete terms at siriusxm.com. All fees and programming subject to change. Sirius, XM, SiriusXM and all related marks and logos are trademarks of Sirius XM Radio Inc.

  • Before you buy a vehicle or use it for trailering, carefully review the Trailering section of the Owner’s Manual. The weight of passengers, cargo and options or accessories may reduce the amount you can tow.

  • EPA-estimated 28 City/39 Hwy MPG

  • With second row seats folded flat. Cargo and load capacity limited by weight and distribution.

  • The Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price excludes destination freight charge, tax, title, license, dealer fees and optional equipment. Click here to see all Chevrolet vehicles' destination freight charges.

  • Read the vehicles Owner’s Manual for more important feature limitations and information.

  • Does not detect people or items. Always check rear seat before exiting.

  • Vehicle user interface is a product of Apple and its terms and privacy statements apply. Requires compatible iPhone and data plan rates apply. Apple CarPlay is a trademark of Apple Inc. iPhone is a trademark of Apple Inc., registered in the U.S. and other countries.

  • Vehicle user interface is a product of Google and its terms and privacy statements apply. Requires the Android Auto app on Google Play and an Android compatible smartphone running Android 5.0 Lollipop or higher. Data plan rates apply. Android, Android Auto, Google, Google Play and other marks are trademarks of Google LLC.

  • Service varies with conditions and location. Requires active OnStar service and paid AT&T data plan. Visit onstar.com for details and limitations.

  • Premier shown seats seven. Standard on L, LS. Available on LT.

  • EPA-estimated 18 MPG city/ 27 MPG highway 3.6FWD.

  • With second row seats folded flat. Cargo and load capacity limited by weight and distribution.

  • EPA-estimated 18 MPG city/ 27 MPG highway 3.6FWD.

  • Read the vehicle owner's manual for important feature limitations and information.

  • Chevrolet Infotainment System functionality varies by model. Full functionality requires compatible Bluetooth and smartphone, and USB connectivity for some devices.

  • The system wirelessly charges one PMA- or Qi-compatible mobile device. Some devices require an adaptor or back cover. To check for phone or other device compatibility, visit my.chevrolet.com/learn for details.

  • Read the vehicles Owner's Manual for more important feature limitations and information.

  • The Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price excludes destination freight charge, tax, title, license, dealer fees and optional equipment. Click here to see all Chevrolet vehicles' destination freight charges.