Police Department adds two electric vehicles to fleet

Oct 18, 2022

Wareham Police Chief Walter Correia remembers when, shortly after his Police Department purchased two 2022 Ford Mustang Mach E electric cars in January and May of this year, one skeptical resident asked him: “That’s what my tax dollars are going for? A Ford Mustang that’s all electric?” 

“Yes,” Correia replied. “Because it saves money.”

In January, Correia spoke to Topsfield Police Chief Neal Hovey, who showed Correia his department’s electric vehicle. 

Correia thought electric vehicles would be a perfect fit for “a green community” like Wareham.

“Of course, some people will say, ‘How do you get the electricity?’” he said, referring to the fact that a portion of the electricity used to charge the cars comes from generating plants burning environmentally unfriendly fossil fuels.
“Which is true," the chief said. "I don’t know if we’d ever be able to get away from that. However, the communities that have full solar canopies could potentially charge the electric vehicles with the sun.”

A solar canopy is a covered parking area made up of solar panels and outfitted with electric vehicle charging stations.

In a proposed design for a new police station to take space in Town Hall, the Police Building Planning Committee discussed installing solar canopies above parking spaces. 

Not only are the electric cars good for the environment, Correia said, but they save taxpayer money. The department received a $7,500 tax credit for each vehicle. 

One of the vehicles, which belongs to Sergeant Daniel Flaherty, cost $45,000. The other, which belongs to Lieutenant Peter Flannery and has an extended battery, cost $50,000.

“Mine’s shinier,” Flannery joked.

Correia currently drives a 2019 Chevrolet Traverse. Last year, it cost almost $3,000 to fuel the Traverse with gasoline. Alternatively, driving the electric Mustang would cost $700-900 to fuel with electricity. 

There are charging stations at the Police Department and Town Hall.

“The maintenance on these electric vehicles is lower,” Correia added. “No oil change.”

“It’s amazing,” Flaherty said.

Correia cited a study showing that when police departments use electric vehicles for six years, they save an average of 20 percent on fuel and maintenance per cruiser. 

“We’re trying to be fiscally responsible in this community,” he said. “I wanted to take avenues towards that end.”

“Someday,” Correia said, the Wareham Police Department’s entire fleet might go electric.

“The way the country’s going, I think electric vehicles are only starting to ramp up,” he said. “I think that a lot of police departments today are not only putting up solar canopies to protect the cruisers, but also putting up the wire infrastructure for charging electric vehicles.”