Penn State Police Patrol on EV Bikes

Photo by wjactv.comLast week, two Penn State patrolmen took their new rides for a spin: electric-powered Vectrix motorcycles. The central PA campus is the first in the nation to add EV motorcycles to its police force, and the first cop shop in the state to do so, as well.

The bikes will be used most often to patrol parking lots on game days, which attract over 100,000 fans to watch the Nittany Lions play. The pair of motorcycles are expected to last 8-10 hours per charge, or about 60 miles. According to Steven Shelow, director of University Police, the department has been eyeing motorcycles for about three years. When he saw the EV models at a law-enforcement convention over the summer, he decided they would work well on campus, as they are quiet enough to operate while classes are in session.

The Vectrix used on the PSU campus costs less than $9,000, comparable to a gasoline-powered motorcycle. Like most EVs, it plugs into either a 110- or 220-volt outlet to charge overnight. Top speed is around 60 mph, if the police should need it. The one hitch in the plan is the same hitch that affects all motorcycle cops: winter. Snow falls in big, cold, wet flakes pretty often in Pennsylvania, which means these two patrolmen will need to borrow a cruiser or pull on their warmest waterproof boots.

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