The Los Angeles Police Department is testing new police motorcycles from Brammo and Zero, trying to determine if it should add electric models to its existing fleet of gas-powered motorcycles.

Chief Charlie Beck made a bit of a splash last month, arriving at the Los Angeles Police Museum last month on the Brammo Empulse LE test unit. The electric motorcycle provided an interesting contrast beside the museum’s collection of retired police cars dating as far back as the ’30s. An avid motorcyclist, it was Beck that requested the LAPD test vehicles using green technology.

100913-lapd-chief-beck-brammo-empulse-police-bikeOther law enforcement agencies around the world have begun adopting electric motorcycles to their patrol fleets. Zero already supplies police motorcycles for Hong Kong and Bogota, Colombia. Brammo also supplied electric motorcycles to law enforcement officers in Hong Kong.

The Empulse LE costs $24,995 per unit while the Zero DS Police the force is also testing is priced at $17,945. By comparison, a fully-equipped gas-powered police motorcycle costs about $35,000 each.

Sgt. Dan Gomez, the officer overseeing the project for the LAPD, says testers will look at whether the limited range of the electric bikes can suit the department’s needs.

[Source: AP (via Greenwich Time); photo by LAPD Communications (Facebook), Chief Charlie Beck (Twitter)]