Sergeant James Post

Unplugging the Controversy about EVs

We’ve talked about EVs several times before in these pages, but the discussions (pro and con) continue unabated.

Here are the latest developments in this debate, as well as vehicle news from around the country – new vehicles purchased, recalls and more. 

But, first, here’s a real-world EV experience from a Midwestern state trooper who has requested to remain anonymous. “I was sent to a motorist assist at the start of a snowstorm recently. The car was described as a Tesla with a dead primary (high voltage) battery on the side of the interstate. Upon arrival, I found the callers with the right front door open. They told me they couldn’t open any of the other doors (from inside or outside) because the battery was dead. I asked the driver for her license and registration, but she could not provide them as they were in the electronic glove box which wouldn’t open either; again, because of the dead battery.” 

“She stated the rented Tesla ‘told’ her she had 10% battery left so they were en route to a charging station (eight miles away) when it died and coasted to the shoulder. I proceeded to order them a tow, but I soon discovered that very few companies will tow an EV. I finally located a company which agreed to tow the Tesla to the charging station…for $1000! A ‘normal’ (non-EV) tow would likely have been around $150.”

“Upon arrival at the charging station, we couldn’t open the electronic charging port because, you guessed it, the battery was dead. I took the occupants to a business where they could stay warm and call the rental company. I’m not sure of the outcome because I was dispatched to an accident, but I do know I’ll stick with my gas burner V-8 as long as possible.”

The Rush to Electrify

For several years, we’ve been force-fed the idea that Internal Combustion Engines (ICE) are a bad thing and their emissions (along with those of cattle, HVAC systems, gas ranges, farm equipment, NASCAR, refried beans, lawn mowers, Harleys, and Little Deuce Coupes) will cause the world to end any day now due to global warming which will cause glaciers to melt, oceans to rise and a shortage of bikinis. This dire future is being predicted by a handful of fearmongering politicians who, by the way, continue to fly around the world in private jets and own multiple mansions and expensive limos.

We’re told the solution is solar panels on every roof, despite them being impotent in sunless skies or when covered with snow; or wind farms which are a lethal hazard to animals, birds, whales, and your grandma and are also useless in freezing winter temperatures.

In addition, our primary and only salvation, the doomsday predictors claim, will only happen when everyone on our planet buys electric cars, trucks, motorcycles, and lawn mowers powered by lithium batteries built from rare earth minerals mined by child labor in Third World countries. Total compliance will guarantee us clean air, blue skies, green trees, and pretty flowers, but the “experts” forgot to invite the world’s greatest polluters – China, India and Russia – to join us in their earth saving mission.

Being a 27 year police veteran, I’m naturally a skeptic (my wife would add paranoid as well), but after our normally balmy Midwest winter, this year consisted of copious rain and floods, days of subfreezing temps, occasional snowstorms, and being stranded at home due to two inches of ice, I have a hard time buying into the global warming scare tactics.

Of course, many public safety agencies run by “green” politicians are caught up in this madness to go electric ASAP, too. The irony is that Americans currently find ourselves in the midst of the worst crime wave and fewest cops in decades due to defunding, retirements and resignations, and lackluster recruitment results. But, instead of hiring more cops, increasing salaries and creating safer environments for them, they see electric cruisers as the politically correct solution. This, despite electric police cars costing nearly twice as much as traditional units; the cost to “electrify” facilities with sufficient chargers; and EV charging times which will increase downtime, some departments prefer to dive headfirst into shark infested waters without a snorkel. 

Most LE publications (including this one) have cautioned departments to slow down and study the results of long-term EV usage by other departments first; do the research on all of the available vehicles; and even compromise by purchasing hybrid vehicles (instead of all electric) at first.

The Institute for Energy Research has reported that the EV “mania” might be ending, or at least slowing down, due to concerns about supply chains, lithium sourcing, inflation, and consumer demands decelerating. The industry leader, Tesla, is cutting prices by 20% in America and the UK markets, sacrificing profits to raise sales volume. Even Tesla’s founder, Elon Musk, has voiced his concern about overloading the electric grid with an EV proliferation before improving it.

Brian Moody, editor of Kelley Blue Book®, has reported that, in the used EV market, researchers have found that low mileage, used EVs hold more value within the first few years, but then drop off steeply when compared to ICE vehicles, especially if they are out of warranty. After five years, Moody stated the Chevy Volt fared the best and retains about 55% of its original value, compared to other EVs, with as little as 27% for the Hyundai KONA. For comparison, Tesla models typically sold for 40-45% of their original price during the same period.

Moody also commented he doesn’t foresee many discounted new EVs being sold to the fleet market, given that manufacturers with limited supplies will prefer to sell more expensive models to higher paying consumers.

Who’s Buying What

Following, we have listed departments which have gone (either fully or partially) electric and their EVs of choice.

The Cambridge, MA, PD is aiming for lower maintenance costs with their purchase of their first EVs – 2023 Ford® Mustang Mach-E SUVs. The city purchased three Mustangs to be incorporated into their existing fleet. The first is fully marked and used by the department’s traffic unit, while the others are unmarked and will be used for criminal investigators and administrative duties.

The Northfield, MN, PD has also purchased a 2023 Mustang Mach-E SUV for a two year evaluation to determine if it can meet the needs of police service in the cold winter environment. It is fully marked as well.

Hoping for anticipated taxpayer savings due to reduced operating expenses, the Somerset, WI, PD chose a Tesla Model Y for their department. It is fully marked and Chief Trepczyk is hoping the Tesla will outperform two previous EVs tested by the department. In 2019, the department tested a “less than ideal” Ford Fusion Hybrid Responder®, he said.

The Westchester County, NY, DPS has added a 2022 Mustang Mach-E to their fleet of hybrid cruisers. It is marked and will be used to patrol the village of Mount Kisco in a pilot program to test the Mustang’s capability as their first all-electric patrol vehicle.

New Cars and Equipment

Mopar® friendly departments and Mopar enthusiasts everywhere have long been dreading the predicted end of the HEMI® engine in all of its configurations, from injected to supercharged, and horsepowers ranging from 370 hp to over 1000 hp. Well, Stellantis has made it official – 2023 will see the last HEMI engines, finding themselves under the hoods of seven limited Challenger and Charger editions, all with the 797 hp Hellcat V-8s. 

There is some good news, however, for state troopers, city cops, departments which still use the last REAL police car, and all of us with heavy right feet – the popular Dodge Charger Pursuit will continue to be built through 2023! They will still be available in the AWD 300 hp Pentastar V-6 and the 370 hp RWD HEMI V-8, both bolted to column shifted eight-speed autos. Thanks to Stellantis for building another year of American cops’ best friend!

Other Industry News

Gamber-Johnson, LLC has acquired Lind Electronics, following their acquisition of Premier Mounts in 2021. This makes them a huge, multifaceted partner to law enforcement and the military.

Setina Manufacturing Co., Inc., a leading innovator and producer of law enforcement vehicle equipment worldwide, recently celebrated their 60th anniversary. Today, the company founded by John Setina in 1963 proudly remains a family operation, with John’s children, Terry and Judy, at the helm, as they have been for over 30 years.


No matter how sophisticated and innovative new vehicles are designed and built, they are still, after all, built by humans (with the help of a couple thousand robots) and they can be flawed. Here are the latest recalls of those flaws.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) is recalling 139,019 2021-2023 Dodge Durangos for a potentially defective rear spoiler which could detach from the vehicle. On some units, the spoiler was mounted too close to the tailgate and can partially detach from the vehicle, or even detach completely, which could cause vehicles following behind to crash. 

The recall did not mention Durango Interceptors, but since they are built at the same Canadian factory, if your department uses them, you should consider contacting a dealer for possible replacement of the spoiler.

In a separate recall, Ford is recalling 220,000 2021 F-150 pickups due to windshield wiper arms which may break while in use. Indicators are an erratic or slow wiper speed. This recall will likely include F-150 Responder and SSV units you may be operating.

The NHTSA has recalled 120,000 2023 Tesla Model Y units after two reports of steering wheels falling off while being driven. Apparently, the cars were delivered missing the steering wheel retaining bolt and the wheels detached from their columns while the cars were in motion. This recall should also include Teslas in police service. There have been no injuries or fatalities reported in these incidents which surely required underwear changes for drivers and occupants.

The Continuing Saga of Police Car Shortages

It seems we report on police car shortages every issue, but the following is not hearsay or a secondhand tale. It’s the real deal as reported directly by the agency left stranded.

The November/December 2022 issue of Patrol News, the official Missouri State Highway Patrol (MSHP) publication, carried an article by Director Cathy Brown of the Fleet Facilities informing troopers of the status of the fleet, currently experiencing a vehicle shortage not seen for 80 years (1943) which then was due to WWII. However, the current shortage is more complex than a war and these multiple reasons date back to the COVID pandemic. Following is Director Brown’s synopsis.

For over a year, the Patrol experienced vehicle orders completely or partially cut; deliveries taking months longer to receive than normal; and significant, ongoing price increases across all manufacturers and she provided the following examples.

During the fall of 2021, they ordered 80 new Dodge Charger Pursuits, but, in early March 2022, only three were delivered. Fortunately, the Ford PI Utility order bank was still open so they were able to order from Ford. Attempting to maintain the same allotted budget as the Dodges (that were not delivered), they could only order 67 of the more expensive PI Utilities. However, the new order of the 2022 Utilities was also cancelled, so then they ordered 2023 models, but had to reduce that order to 58 Utilities due to a price increase of the 2023 units. At the time of publication, they have 385 vehicles of mixed makes/models ordered with little certainty that those orders will even be built. 

Based on the uncertainty of fleet programs throughout the industry, the Patrol was forced to make the difficult decision to cease all used vehicle sales in their very successful resale program (P&SN has reported on it several times) until their new car ordering and delivery improve. This decision also requires operating the MSHP fleet beyond the normal mileage cutoff (when they would usually sell a vehicle). 

Director Brown stated that this was the first time in agency history they faced the need to cease vehicle sales. The impact of not selling vehicles every month will directly affect the fleet budget; and, likewise, negatively impact the numerous departments around the country needing the used patrol vehicles to keep them mobile.

Of course, emergency vehicle manufacturers cite many reasons (excuses) for their poorly performing fleet programs – supply chain issues/delays, computer chip and tire shortages, inflation, government pressure to “go green,” and more – leaving industry experts to predict vast changes for future fleet programs, such as price increases, and even the way departments order new units, including fleet vehicles being sold at MSRP prices. Welcome to retail, y’all!

Sergeant James Post always appreciates comments and suggestions for future columns. Feel free to E-mail him in Tornado Alley at