Hyattsville, MD Police Department Sends Chevy Bolt EV On Patrol Duty

Bolt EV Maryland police car perfect for patrols.


Long range of the law.

After working with the Maryland Energy Administration to obtain a Smart Energy Communities grant, Sergeant Richard Hartnett and the Hyattsville Police Department purchased a Chevrolet Bolt EV and two public charging stations.

Harnett had wanted to integrate electric vehicles into their fleet for years. However, range and performance for most affordable, sub-100 mile electric vehicles were not always up to the task. Most short range EVs in police departments were used for administrative purposes or parking enforcement. For vehicles with adequate range and performance, such as a Model S or Model X, price was an issue.

The Bolt EV seemed to hit the middle ground of performance, range and price that the department was looking for. “When I first heard about the Bolt EV, I thought, ‘Wow,’” said Harnett. Sergeant Harnett says that his department is one of the first in the United States to use an all electric vehicle in regular patrol duty.

Bolt EV Maryland police car out on patrol.

In order to get it on the streets, a lot of additions were needed. The car includes typical police equipment such as two-ray radio, computer, sirens, and custom lighting. Since officers often leave their vehicles idle for long periods of time, a device was also installed that automatically disconnects all aftermarket equipment 60 minutes after the vehicle is idle. Hartnett says:

The Bolt EV isn’t as wide as a standard patrol car, so we had to get creative (…)

The installation company did a great job. The vehicle turned out looking fantastic. Even the decals look great.

Bolt EV Maryland police car interior was specially designed.

EVs will play a large role in the future of police departments.

Sergeant Hartnett says there are two common misconceptions about electric vehicles being used for police work: lack of vehicle range and ability to pursue a suspect at high speeds. Now that long range, affordable EVs are on the market, he feels these concerns are unfounded. The nearly 60 kWh battery of the Bolt EV will last for an entire shift. The vehicle is also more than powerful enough to keep up in a pursuit.

Apparently other cities have taken notice. Hartnett explains:

The people I talk to think the police department is taking a real step forward by having a car that is environmentally friendly (…)

I’ve also been getting calls from a lot of other police departments about how the Bolt EV is performing and whether or not it makes sense for them.

It’s clear to me that EVs like the Bolt EV certainly have a place in law enforcement.

The Bolt has been on the job less than a year and has exceeded expectations. The Hyattsville police department is already looking to add a second Bolt. For a video containing additional photos of the interior, check our out previous article. For more details and photos, click the link below.

Photo and Story Source: Chevy – Find New Roads

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19 Comments on "Hyattsville, MD Police Department Sends Chevy Bolt EV On Patrol Duty"

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Good start but I know the model X is used by some law enforcement agencies in Europe. The TCO wins out for the model X compared to any comparable MB, bmw, VW, or any other potential competitor vehicle.

TCO for Bolt EV is much lower than Model X.

A larger, more powerful car has a higher TCO?!?!?

What about the top speed of 93 Mph? Does the police version have this limitation removed?

Have you ever been to Hyattsville? The average speed is 3 mph. There is so much congestion that noone is getting away in a vehicle, on foot maybe 🙂

At that kind of speed police in CA are backing off and leaving it to the helicopters. It’s just not worth it, it’s too risky for everyone on the streets and the police.

Old saying goes, nobody can outrun a radio…

Today’s motto is that nobody can outrun a helicopter or a drone…

The top speed in all current EVs is based on max motor RPM. It is not a limit that can be changed easily. It isn’t a highway patrol car, and honestly I think high speed pursuits should be avoided in almost all cases as they cause more harm than good.

“t isn’t a highway patrol car, and honestly I think high speed pursuits should be avoided in almost all cases as they cause more harm than good.”


I did see this car last year at Poolesville “drive electric” even. I didn’t get to talk to the officer.

I think the office might like the fact that he can patrol residential streets in all hours w/o waking the residents up, and he can drive up to the bad guys in complete silence (if he turns the noise generator off).

90% Gasoline budget can now be redirected to officers pension funds

Not first police department. Atlanta PD has had a poLEAF since 2013.

I doubt the Atlanta PD was using their Leaf for regular patrol duty.
The Ellicott City sheriff’s office (near Hyattsville) has used a Gen 1 Leaf for a few years, though it is only used for admin, not regular patrol.

Nice I first saw this Police Bolt in Chevrolet’s “New Roads” magazine; it’s nice to see from this new article that it’s working out well for this police department.

Not pursuit rated by the manufacturer. No insurance institution will underwrite this car for pursuit duty, so I highly doubt they are using it outside of administrative and PR work.

It says right in the article: “Sergeant Harnett says that his department is one of the first in the United States to use an all electric vehicle in regular patrol duty.”
I’ve seen it patrolling the roads myself. Pretty sweet!

Well, if you doubt us, would you believe 🙂

There are aftermarket upgrades available for cars that do not offer a ‘police package’ or ‘pursuit rated’ vehicle available directly from the manufacturer. That is what this dept did. From Police Mag:

“The Hyattsville (MD) Police Department is using a Chevrolet Bolt for law enforcement patrol duty.

The Bolt has not been involved in a pursuit yet, but the electric vehicle can accelerate to 60 mph in 6.5 seconds with a top speed of 93 mph. And Hartnett believes backup will be the deciding factor in a chase involving the Bolt.

“We are located in a very urban area, with what seems like a police car on every corner, so chases are becoming few and far between for us,” Hartnett said. “Even when they do happen, it’s hard for the violator to ‘outrun the radio,’ so most times the actual length of a chase is very short.”

Sgt Hartnett also owns a Bolt to drive during his off-duty time. 🙂

With the BoltEV’s excellent headroom, maybe there’s less chance of people in cuffs from hitting their heads? 😀