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Fort Collins police testing electric motorcycles

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This is one of the Brammo motorcycles currently being utilized by Hong Kong police (Brammo.com)

This is one of the Brammo motorcycles currently being utilized by Hong Kong police (Brammo.com)

FORT COLLINS, Colo. — The Fort Collins Police Department is temporarily going green — or at least their motorcycles are.

Members of the force in Fort Collins will be rolling about on electric motorcycles from Brammo, Inc., for the next month on a trail basis, trying to determine whether or not to make the fuel-less two-wheelers a permanent part of their fleet.

“As we look to maximize fuel efficiency and green technology, it made sense to conduct a trial of Brammo’s all-electric motorcycle,” Capt. Jim Szakmeister said in a news release.

Brammo Global Fleet Director Greg Lemhouse told the Ashland Daily Mail that the Colorado State University campus police will also run the Enertia Plus on its campus.

“We believe in our product and technology,” Lemhouse told the newspaper Thursday. “Once a government agency has the opportunity to use it, they will see how it will benefit them.”

Lemhouse said Harvard University in Cambridge, Mass., Providence College in Rhode Island along with police units in Newark, N.J., and Kansas City, Mo., are lined up for trial runs, as well. Brammo’s motorcycles also are currently used by police in Ashland, Ore., where the company is located, and Hong Kong.

“The hands-on experience lets them see operationally how it can help them,” Lemhouse said. “And it exposes their communities to the possibility of reducing fossil fuel use and alternative fuels.”

Fort Collins Police spokesman Matt Johnson said the agency is currently utilizing a seven-bike fleet of Harley Ultra Classic Electra Glides and Kawasaki Concours 14s.

Enertia Plus LE models are equipped with emergency lights and accessories, allowing Fort Collins police to use them in a variety of patrol, security and traffic-enforcement details.

“There’s a range difference and a difference in the throttle works, so there is a different feel when you’re putting the pedal to the metal,” Johnson said. “You get used to the traditional gas engine response, and there is a much different sensation with this.”

He said bikes used in traffic patrol might exceed the single-charge range of 100 miles.

“It’s not uncommon for them to ride quite a distance during the day,” Johnson said.