Location: Pueblo, CO
Fleet Type: Law Enforcement Agency

 

Narrative

Many police departments around the United States are incorporating electric vehicles (EVs) into their fleets as part of their efforts to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and promote sustainability. Electric police cars are becoming increasingly popular due to advancements in EV technology and the overall push toward environmental conservation. Additionally, some law enforcement agencies appreciate the quiet and smooth operation and the instant torque and quick acceleration of EVs, which can be advantageous in certain policing situations.

The Pueblo Police Department has swiftly positioned itself as a leader among law enforcement agencies in Colorado, due to its rapid deployment of EVs over the past year. In 2022, the department initiated plans to transition its entire light-duty fleet to EVs, setting a goal for the coming years. Since then, Pueblo PD has incorporated nine Ford Mustang Mach-Es into its fleet, supported by the installation of three charging stations at its facility, including two dual-port Level 2 chargers and one dual-port Level 3 charger. The EVs in operation average 100 miles or less daily. While some vehicles serve as take-home cars, utilizing at-home charging solutions, the majority are charged at work.

Pueblo PD is set to receive five more Mach-Es and is in the process of ordering several Ford F-150 Lightnings within the next year. The City expects to have the police fleet updated with nearly 20% EVs by the end of 2024. Pueblo PD has demonstrated remarkable success in a relatively short amount of time with their EV deployments. Their achievements serve as a testament to their dedication and strategic planning, which can serve as a valuable model for other law enforcement agencies looking to implement EV programs.

Outputs and Outcomes

Pueblo has a rich energy history deeply rooted in its industrial heritage. The City played a significant role in the coal and steel industries over the past century. Pueblo is home to the state’s largest power plant, Comanche Generating Station, which is also the largest source of GHG emissions in the state. Pueblo PD’s commitment to an electrified future aligns with the broader goals set forth by the community to transition towards cleaner technologies and renewable energy sources.

In 2017, the City of Pueblo committed to obtaining 100% of its electric energy from renewable energy sources by 2035. Additionally, Colorado State University Pueblo achieved a significant milestone in 2021, becoming the first “net-zero” university in the state with the completion of its 23-acre solar array project just north of campus. In 2023, Pueblo Community Health Center’s East Side Clinic became the first “net-zero” outpatient health care facility in the United States. Pueblo is also actively working on transitioning its other fleet vehicles to electric and building out its public EV charging network, with the goal of advancing EV adoption across the region.

Best Practices & Lessons Learned

The department’s EVs, though relatively new, have received positive feedback from both the community and the officers using them. Pueblo PD has displayed these EVs at numerous community events, where attendees are often impressed by the vehicles and the department’s forward-thinking approach. As more police staff members familiarize themselves with the EVs and the technology, internal support within the department continues to grow. The department acknowledges that these vehicles come with more technical features than their conventional counterparts, but they value the programmability options offered by EVs.

Moreover, Pueblo PD and the City have proactively prepared their fleet technicians for the increasing number of EVs in various city departments. These technicians have attended EV safety training sessions and workshops. Looking ahead, Pueblo will collaborate with Ford Motor Company for future application-specific training sessions, ensuring they stay ahead of the curve as they plan for future adoption.

Pueblo PD faces several unanswered questions as they prepare for future EV deployments. Determining the necessary number of chargers, deciding how to compensate staff for EV home charging, and addressing related resiliency concerns are key challenges that need to be resolved. The City will need to continue to work with its utility provider, Black Hills Energy, to ensure the City’s facilities are ready for increased EV adoption. Additionally, replacement timelines for their EVs may shift as they determine which metric is best for the technology (miles vs. hours). However, the department anticipates gaining invaluable insights from the operation of these vehicles over the next year to answer these key questions and to inform future decisions.

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Pueblo Police Department Fleet Story

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