TUCSON, Ariz. - Police have a new way to roll at Pima Community College they are using electric motorcycles and found out they're an environmentally friendly way to keep the campuses safe.
When the Zero brand electric motorcycle glides across campus you don’t hear the roar of an engine, just the sound of tire tread on the pavement. PCC got its first electric motorcycle two years ago with a grant from the Governor's Office of Highway Safety. Sergeant Joshua Blum still loves gas bikes for personal use but says the electric motorcycle's a great fit for the campus police.
“It's no more intrusive than a golf cart on the campus property, so you can mingle around with the students and hold conversations, even yell across the parking lot of somebody and say hello. Because there's no engine noise, to overcome. Yet at the same time, it's capable if I have to fly from this downtown campus to our East Campus 100 miles an hour because of emergency, I can."
The electric motorcycle can carry all the usual police gear and still be nimble enough to handle steps and campus sidewalks.
Some PCC campuses include a lot of natural land so it comes in handy that the electric motorcycle is designed for off road use.
Sergeant Blum says the electric motorcycle goes about 150 miles between charges, even with the constant stop and go of police use but he says going electric may not be right for all departments.
"As far as traditional law enforcement agencies such as the city or county and state agency. I think the technology's got a little ways to go before it has the range acceptable for that. I mean, agencies like that, it's not uncommon for them to do escort services to Phoenix from Nogales back and forth whereas, this simply doesn't have the range for that kind of riding."
But for PCC, a motorcycle that's clean, quiet and very low maintenance fits right in.
Total cost for the electric motorcycles is about 27 thousand dollars each, all three were covered by a grant from the Governor's Office of Highway Safety.