Police show off new toy: advanced scooter

Chris Kirk

Video by Chris Kirk

Evanston criminals must now run from a new, cutting-edge, eco-friendly police scooter.

The Evanston Police Department showcased the three-wheel “T3” scooter Friday morning. The vehicle represents the “next progression in enforcement mobility,” according to a press release.

The scooter is entirely electric with zero gas emissions. It can reach 20 miles per hour and travel 25 to 30 miles on a single charge, the release said. Faster than a bike and more mobile than a car, the “T3” is intended to diversify police strategies, not to be the squad car or bicycle of the future, EPD Cmdr. Tom Guenther said.

“It’s not going to replace anything,” he said. “It’s going to augment. It’s going to add to our strategies as far as patrolling.”

The scooter can run on streets, alleys, parks, paths and sidewalks, the release said. Using a zero-degree turning radius, a driver would simply turn around instead of backing up.

The battery charge should last from three to four hours, Guenther said. Officers can easily swap between two batteries because a battery takes about the same time to recharge.

The Cherry Family Foundation covered the $12,000 price tag attached to the scooter, which runs on about 10 cents per day. It will ultimately save money, Guenther said.

EPD is considering purchasing additional units and may use funds from tax financing and tax increment financing districts, Guenther said.

“This was kind of a new application for us, but it’s being received well by the officers and the public,” Guenther said. “So if things work out well, I think the chief would like to purchase another one.”

The scooter is “highly visible but allows for a stealthy approach when needed,” Chief Richard Eddington told Evanston Now in August.

T3 Motion of Costa Mesa, Calif. created the scooter.