Prototype Electric Police Cruiser
On Wednesday, August 23, 2007, Connellsville made history with the unveiling of the Country's first prototype police cruiser. In 2005, Police Chief Steve Cooper was approached with the idea of donating a City police vehicle as a prototype. With City Council's approval, a 2000 Chevrolet Impala was handed over to Advanced Communication Division of Coherent Systems International Corporation. In August, that dream was finally realized as the car was returned to the police force and revealed to the public.
The vehicle runs on a two-hour charge from a 240-volt outlet for an eight hour shift. The batteries are expected to last five years. Maintenance is required only for brakes, rotors and tires. The cost to run it on a daily basis is expected to be around 35 cents, as opposed to the $3 to $5 cost for a gasoline engine. With only a slight hum, you can barely tell its running. The acceleration is likened to the "slot car" feature, as when you press on the accelerator, there's no lull or lag in the transmission to the engine.
As this is the first car like it, the designers aren't sure how long it will last. At the moment there's nothing to compare it against. But that's not stopping others from contacting Coherent Systems to discuss ordering one like it.
"The ride was so smooth with an odd feeling as the car quickly accelerated without the noise from the engine," said Councilman David McIntire, after being taken for a ride in the vehicle with Mayor Judy Reed and Lance Simmens, Special Assistant to Governor Ed Rendell. Mr. Simmens added, "The fact that the first prototype is in Pennsylvania and in Connellsville is a great honor."