The Santa Monica Police Department unveiled four new electric motorcycles Tuesday.
Officials said the Zero Bikes will expand SMPD’s traffic enforcement unit and allow officers to respond more quickly to calls for service. The bikes were obtained with the assistance of the city of Santa Monica’s Public Works Department, said Lieutenant Candice Cobarrubias.
“These new electric motorcycles are part of the city’s commitment to reducing emissions while serving as fast, effective and quiet crime-fighting tools,” Cobarrubias said.
The bikes are made by Zero, an American company founded by a former NASA engineer. They have a top speed of 102 mph, can travel 176 miles per charge and have off road capabilities.
“With no gears, clutch or noise, officers can focus on patrolling,” said SMPD in an announcement. “They can perform highly technical maneuvers during intense situations where performance and agility are essential. While in crowds or indoors, the absence of exhaust eliminates ventilation concerns and opens up new, or improves current, patrolling scenarios.”
Sgt. Mike Boyd said officers receive about a month of additional training before riding the new bikes.
He said the lack of a clutch alters the way some maneuvers are performed and the differences with acceleration and turning radius requires additional practice.