Letter: Electric cop cars are a bad idea


The Oak Harbor Police Department plans to add six electric police cars to the department. That’s not a very good idea. The many problems inherent with EVs are unlikely to be resolved in the near future, if ever. They will soon be in the dust bin of automotive history.

Consider that the sources of the rare minerals and materials needed to manufacture the batteries come mostly from foreign countries, often mined by young slave children. The main source of the batteries themselves are from China, not exactly a good friend of the United States. The chargers themselves have maintenance issues and often fail to function. EVs have limited range. Frequent idling and high speed pursuit will rapidly reduce the electric batteries’ range even more so.

Few mechanics know how to repair electric vehicles. And, they are high maintenance. Consider also that the actual cost of maintenance is substantially more than a gas or diesel powered vehicle. Disposal of the batteries is a huge environmental problem. Replacing an EV’s battery costs almost as much as buying a new vehicle. EV batteries can spontaneously explode or catch fire, often risking lives. The fires are extremely difficult to put out, taking hours with special fire department equipment.

In the broader scope, used EVs will be a dredge on the market. Few, if any, people will want to buy a used EV. The electric grid is not adequate. It can barely handle present load during the summer months. Black outs and brown outs will increase. Customers will be instructed to limit electric use during heavy load periods even more than they are now. The cost of electricity itself will increase.

EV batteries lose power in cold weather, sometimes completely in extreme cold weather. Charging time in these conditions is extensively extended. Sometimes they are even almost impossible to recharge. The list of negatives is unending.

These reasons and many more are why EVs are sitting unsold on car dealers’ lots. That is why Hertz and others are dumping their rental EVs. That is why Ford and GM are losing money on EVs and shutting down manufacturing facilities. The list of negatives is unending. And the vast majority of these problems are almost unsolvable. The Oak Harbor Police Department needs to reconsider their decision. It is a big mistake and a waste of the city’s financial resources.

Bill Merrill