VISALIA -- Police unveiled two quiet additions to the department's two-wheeled fleet Thursday: environmentally friendly, zero-emission electric motorcycles.
Visalia, Farmersville and McFarland are the first cities in the San Joaquin Valley to buy zero emission electric motorcycles, the San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District said.
The 2013 Zero DS 8.5 models are made by Zero Motorcycles, a Santa Cruz-area company. They cost $19,000 each and were purchased with a grant from the air district.
"It'll reduce our carbon footprint," police fleet manager Dexter Valencia said.
The motorcycles can reach 100 mph, have a range of 90 miles and under normal use will go several hours without recharging. Recharging involves plugging into a 110-volt outlet.
The motorcycles won't replace the department's Harley-Davidson motorcycles, but will be used to patrol parks or at parades where a quieter, lighter-weight machine is useful, or as a backup when a Harley is in the shop for maintenance, Sgt. Chris McLain said.
"They're more suitable to uneven terrain," he said. "They have a stealth-like capacity."
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