The City Council Monday voted to accept a $12,000 donation from the Cherry Family Foundation to buy a battery powered electric scooter for Evanston’s police department.

A T3 Personal Electric Vehicle. (T3 Motion photo)

The scooter, called a T3 Personal Electric Vehicle, is produced by T3 Motion of Irvine, Calif.

Police Chief Richard Eddington said the scooter is “highly visible, but allows for a stealthy approach when needed.”

He added that it “enhances officer-citizen contact, but still renders a command presence” and that he anticipates using it for high-profile neighborhood patrolling.

Asked by an alderman why the city wasn’t opting for the two-wheel Segway scooters used by the Chicago Police Department, he said officers are less likely to fall off the three-wheeled design.

The donors say they’re also impressed with the environmental impact of the vehicle, which the company says cost 10 cents per day to operate, and that the cost of recharging its batteries is equivalent to getting over 500 miles per gallon from a gas-powered vehicle.

The vehicle comes equipped with LED emergency lights and a siren. It has a maximum speed of 25 miles per hour and a zero-degree turning radius.

In another police technology development, the council also voted Monday to spend nearly $70,000 to add 11 new video recording units to city police cars. 

Bill Smith is the editor and publisher of Evanston Now.

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  1. $12,000 would have bought a lot of bikes
    Bikes have the ability to be stealthy, offer a command presence, are efficient (powered by bananas and sweat), can be equipped with LED lights and sirens, and have a maximum speed of around 20mph and are extremely maneuverable. Bikes go a step further and have the ability to go off-road and traverse a variety of obstacles. From the looks of it this tricycle will struggle to get over a 6 inch curb.
    Also, a big advantage of the Segway (and in large part why the Chicago police and Millennium Park security use them) is that they take up just slightly more room than a person standing, and are very effective in large dense crowds where bikes cannot be used. This scooter… not so much. It looks like it has a pretty big footprint compared to a Segway. It might be useful in some circumstances, but for “high-profile neighborhood patrolling”, I still think a bike would be the best choice.
    At $12,000 a pop, I hope we only buy one, unless of course generous donors are willing to pay for more.

    1. Evanston police have plenty bikes.
      And we visit with those bike officers all the time. But, remember, Evanston has sidewalks downtown where bikes can’t go and one way streets where bikes can’t go. If this cute little vehicle will allow an officer to constantly patrol the downtown area while being out of a car, believe me that the downtown merchants will be very pleased.

    2. back up assumptions
      Evanston RLA, I understand you opinion is you would rather have bikes but is based on you assumptions that this scooter is slow, there is a need for more bikes to go off road, “looks” like it will struggle over a curb, won’t be affective in large crowds, and “looks” like it has a pretty big foot print. However, other than your one glimpse of it in the newspaper do you have any hard data? Visited the manufacturer website? etc etc? Maybe we have enough bikes, perhaps there really is a need for a few, there might be advantages over a Segway. I don’t know but I’m not going to make conclusions about it one way or another without more information.

  2. electric police scooter
    Police Chief Richard Eddington said the scooter is “highly visible, but allows for a stealthy approach when needed.”

    stealthly approach in this lunar land rover looking thing???—thats a joke—right

    perhaps we can also get the cops some jet ski’s so they can “stealthly approach” Evanston residents swimming in the lake without beach tokens.

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