New in 2023, Durham residents could see Fire or Police branded electric sports utility vehicles on the roads. The vehicles arrived in Durham at the Fleet Department in late 2022 and should be in full service by the end of Spring 2023. The City’s Fleet employees are responsible for outfitting the vehicles, so each is branded with official colors and logos. Outfitting also includes installing necessary equipment such as light bar, siren, spotlight, cage, etc. “In order to meet the City's Carbon Neutrality goals, it will be necessary to incorporate EVs (electric vehicles) into our public safety operations,” Fleet Management Director Joe Clark said. “These Ford Mustang Mach-E GT vehicles are the first of many that will be placed into service in the coming years.”
Why electric? Carbon Neutrality and Renewable Energy are important to Durham City leaders, visitors and residents. We recognize potential benefits to the Durham community of cleaner air, increased resilience, reduced energy consumption, improved job opportunities, and a healthier environment. Of critical importance, the implementation of this plan will focus on energy equity and environmental justice to ensure these benefits are available to all residents and future generations.
Both the Fire and Police Departments have Ford Mustang Mach-E GT models. Both departments have EV charging capabilities at their facilities. There are a number of charging stations available throughout Durham for public use. On Dec. 17, Durham Police and Fire employees drove the mustangs in the Durham Holiday Parade. The parade was the public debut for the City's new additions.
On April 1, 2019, the Durham City Council adopted a resolution supporting a transition to renewable energy and carbon neutrality. The City's 2021 Carbon Neutrality & Renewable Energy Action Plan recommends that the organization replace passenger cars from gasoline to battery electric as they reach the end of their life cycle. The plan assumes a 50% conversion to battery electric by 2030 and 100% conversion by 2040.