Panama City Police Department gets new all-electric rides

The Panama City Police Department picked up some new additions to their fleet Tuesday afternoon.
The Panama City Police Department picked up some new additions to their fleet Tuesday afternoon.(WJHG)
Published: Jan. 3, 2023 at 9:52 PM CST
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FORT WALTON BEACH, Fla. (WJHG/WECP) - The Panama City Police Department picked up some new additions to their fleet Tuesday afternoon.

Officers stopped by Coastal Powersports in Fort Walton Beach to buy two motorcycles. While they may look like average motorcycles you see on the road, the new patrol bikes are fully electric.

Police said these are the first electric motorcycles to be used by a police department in the panhandle.

NewsChannel 7 is told that, while powered differently, they still function like gas motorcycles.

“I’m very excited finally seeing them in person,” Panama City Police Captain Chris Taylor said. “They’re full-size, full-speed motorcycles. They can travel highway speeds, so we have the ability- and we will- use them anywhere in the city that is necessary.”

The new motorcycles are also expected to be cost-efficient.

“It will save us all money; the taxpayers, the agency, the city, everybody just through to the lower maintenance cost of them which is very minimal for a years’ worth of operation,” Taylor said.

Police said not only will these motorcycles save the department money, but they will also be able to be used in more ways than any other vehicles they have.

“Big thing up and coming in Panama City is the walking trails that go from one end to the city to the other,” Taylor said. “With these, we’ll be able to maneuver those paths. And with the noise they don’t make, it makes them a viable option to put out at night into neighborhoods and things like that.”

Staff at Coastal Powersports said electric motorcycles are increasing in popularity at their shop.

“With gas prices and stuff the way they were going, we sold quite a few of them this last year,” Derek Schultz, co-owner of Coastal Powersports, said. “More and more people are starting to notice them. I think they’ll be a great addition to their force.”

The motorcycles still have to be registered and decaled before they hit the road, but police said they will hopefully be in service and used around town in about a month.