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Ripon motorcycles go electric

Police plug-ins top out at 98 mph

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Ripon motorcycles go electric

Ripon Police Sergeant Steve Meece displays two new “plug-in” electric motorcycles that have been added to the city’s motor pool.

GLENN KAHL/The Bulletin


POSTED June 5, 2014 1:40 a.m.

The Ripon Police Department continues to incorporate green energy in their fleet of vehicles.

Two new electric police motorcycles valued at $20,000 apiece are on Ripon streets controlling traffic and searching the river bed area thanks to a grant from the San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District for alternative fuels.

The emergency vehicles will be on display at today’s Farmers Market at Stouffer Park on the east side of the community from 4 to 7 p.m.

The grant was specifically for the purchase of the two electric motorcycles and completely covers the cost.  Council members had approved the application and the subsequent acceptance of the grant at their mid-November city council meeting.

The department took delivery of the two plug-in, hybrid Zero Motorcycles on May 23. They have already been used for traffic enforcement, according to First Sergeant Steve Merchant.  The electric motorcycles have proven to be a great success in off-road areas as well along the banks of the Stanislaus River, Merchant added.

The Ripon Police Department was one of the first cities in the valley to incorporate electric bicycle patrols after placing electric Compact Adult Scooters in the schools and for use at special events.  The department was also a leader in the utilization of electric GEM cars on patrol in support of green energy.

Ripon was also one of the first law enforcement agencies in California to implement daily patrols using compressed natural gas in their patrol cars, the sergeant said.

The plug-in motorcycles have a range of 121 miles on a single charge from a standard 110 or 220 volt input.  Charge time is some eight hours with an approximate cost of $1.28 for the electrical input.  The battery pack life is estimated to last some 272,000 miles.  The motorcycles are powered by a passively air-cooled, permanent magnet, brushless motor.  A direct drive clutch less transmission is part of the package with a top speed of 98 miles per hour and a curb weight of 428 pounds.

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