The capital of Sonora has become first place in Mexico where police drive electric vehicles, joining New York City and Windsor, Ontario, in Canada.
Hermosillo Mayor Antonio Astiazarán Gutiérrez confirmed that his government had leased 220 electric sport utility vehicles for municipal police for 28 months. Some six vehicles have been delivered so far, and the rest will arrive before the end of May.
The contract is worth US $11.2 million and the manufacturer guarantees five years or 100,000 kilometers of usage. A fully charged vehicle can travel up to 387 kilometers: in an average eight hour shift, police in Sonora usually drive 120 kilometers.
The state previously had 70 non-electric vehicles, which will still be used.
The Chinese-made JAC SUVs are designed to reduce carbon dioxide emissions and noise pollution. When the brakes are applied, the vehicles convert the by-product energy created by the brakes into electricity. The local government plans to install solar panels at police stations to charge the vehicles.
Astiazarán said the new vehicles were symbolic of a fresh approach to security. “In the municipal government we’re betting on innovation and promoting new solutions to old problems such as insecurity. As promised, to provide citizens with the security and well-being that Sonoran families deserve,” he said.
“Hermosillo becomes the first city in Mexico to have a fleet of electric patrol vehicles to take care of our families,” he added.
Astiazarán highlighted that the vehicles are 90% electric-powered, reducing fuel costs, and said that the plan would make police officers more responsible and efficient. “For the first time in the history of Hermosillo, each unit will be managed and cared for by a single police officer, by which we seek to make them last longer. With more training … we intend to reduce the response time of municipal police … to an average five minute maximum,” he said.
Current response time is 20 minutes.
The head of the Public Security Ministry in Hermosillo, Francisco Javier Moreno Méndez, said the municipal government was following an international trend. “In Mexico there is no inventory of electric patrols like we’re going to have. In other countries, I believe there is,” he said.
Moreno added that Hermosillo had leaped into the future. “I feel proud and excited to have the prestige of being the first [security force] in Mexico that has electric patrol cars … that’s the future. We are one step further into the future … we will be pioneers in the use of these vehicles for public safety,” he said.