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BMW i3 enlisted by LAPD

BMW loans electric hatchback to LA Police Department for 12 months

Published: September 13, 2015, 5:00 AM
Updated: September 15, 2015, 2:32 PM

LAPD BMW i3

The BMW i3 has joined the Los Angeles police force, at least as a volunteer on temporary assignment.

BMW has announced the loan of an i3 electric hatchback to the LA Police Department for 12 months of rigorous on the job training and promotional appearances. It’s the first use of an electric vehicle as an authority figure, and all reports are that it looks stunning in the LAPD’s traditional black-and-white uniform.

“The decision by the Los Angeles Police Department to undertake this evaluation highlights the compelling nature of the BMW i3 as a versatile, sustainable vehicle,” noted Christine Fleischer, BMW North America’s Manager of the i brand. “By virtue of its innovative design and construction from leading-edge materials, the i3 is a brilliant fit with the technology-driven research philosophy of the LAPD. This will be a valuable learning experience for both BMW and the Department.”

Beneath the rooftop lights, the primarily carbonfibre i3 is powered by a 125 kW hybrid synchronous electric motor fed by a 22 kWh lithium-ion battery. That’s good for a range of about 130 km (81 miles).

Although the lightweight i3 likely won’t be partaking in any high-speed chases, its compact size, agility and tight turning circle will prove invaluable for around-town duty on the traffic-dense streets of Los Angeles, notes a BMW press release on the occasion of the vehicle’s unveiling at the downtown LAPD HQ.