Source: RCMP

Despite the federal government’s plan to replace the entire RCMP fleet with zero-emission vehicles by 2035, the national police force warns that it won’t be possible to “Green the fleet” with the currently available technology.

According to the Liberal’s “Greening Government Strategy,”  they plan to replace half of the RCMP’s national safety and security light-duty fleet with ZEVs by 2030 and 100% of the vehicles by 2035.

Two ZEV vehicles have been tested by the RCMP since January this year: one in British Columbia’s West Shore detachment and one in Ontario’s Rideau Hall Response Unit.

Despite their reported popularity, the RCMP is concerned about the vehicles dying on a call to service. They don’t know for sure what effect driving the EVs at high speeds for sustained periods will have.

In a report on the RCMP website, Constable Mark Hall at the B.C. location said battery charge has not been an issue in the city.

“Charging has been easy; we drive in and plug it in,” says Constable Mark Hall. “The lowest an officer got the battery to was about 56%. It’s nice not to worry about refuelling on the road.”

Many of the areas that the RCMP operates in are rural and remote, especially those without policing districts.

Issues EVs may arise in rural and remote areas where the RCMP operates. They warned that vehicles may be inoperable in regions with limited charging infrastructure and strained power grids.

If a vehicle can’t sustain charge in one of these areas, it could spell disaster for those communities.

“The team is still exploring charging systems to ensure proper infrastructure is in place to support detachments and collecting data on vehicles operating in northern and remote locations to evaluate the challenges those areas encounter and ensure ZEV suitability,” the report said.

In it, Andres Casimiri, the manager of the RCMP’s National Fleet Program, said one challenge is that retailers are not making the vehicles operational for police use.

“We had to buy retail vehicles and contract the upfitting to a vendor,” he said.

According to the report, the two Teslas being tested in Ottawa and B.C. were fitted with policing equipment, such as radios and sirens. This involved gutting the inside and adding the equipment internally.

The fitting process took nine months before the vehicles were operational for duty.

One officer told the CBC in an interview that they can’t replace all of their vehicles with EVs as of now, because the technology will not be able to keep up with what is demanded of the police force.