Smokey might be going all-electric – for parking and traffic control, at least.
The 2022 Chevrolet Bolt and its Bolt EUV crossover sibling will offer a new, factory-installed Special Service Vehicle (SSV) package, making them prime options for law enforcement agencies looking to transition toward EVs. However, the plug-in family won’t likely be used for high-speed chases – in GM fleet parlance, SSVs tend to serve as parking control and detective vehicles, while Police Pursuit Vehicles (PPVs) are the faster, tougher cop cars.
Given that, Chevrolet didn’t need to make too many changes to prep the mild-mannered Bolt and Bolt EUV for civil service. According to GM Authority, the SSV package includes two additional electrical circuits, one measuring 20 amps and the other 30, for things like strobe lights and police radios. The Bolt SSV family will also include a surveillance mode that cuts interior and exterior lights for maximum nighttime-stakeout camouflage.
In the transition to meter-mobile, the EVs don’t lose anything in the way of range. The Bolt SSV can go 259 miles between charges, while the Bolt EUV SSV goes 247 miles. Clearly intended for support duties, the non-pursuit law enforcement vehicles have a top speed of 93 miles per hour.
The SSV-packaged EVs are only available for fleet or government orders, equipped somewhat meagerly to appease civilian oversight committees. For example, 16-inch steel wheels are standard, and the SSV isn’t available with the Comfort, Driver Confidence, or Convenience packages (which variously include leather, blind spot monitoring, heated and ventilated seats, and more). But the Bolt SSV does come with a power driver’s seat with four-way adjustable lumbar, so it’s not totally spartan inside.
The Bolts aren’t the first electrified vehicles to be offered to government agencies. Ford offered the Police Responder sedan – a cop-ified Fusion hybrid – until 2020, replaced by the Explorer-based Police Interceptor Utility hybrid. Some municipalities also use EVs like the Nissan Leaf for traffic control and parking duties, but the Bolt and Bolt EUV may be the first specifically equipped all-electric law enforcement vehicles.