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US police officers test 50 mph electric bicycles in real-world patrols

When we first covered the high-power Delfast TopCop electric bicycle, the company was still pitching its bikes to various police departments around the world. Now we’re hearing some of the first feedback from actual cops who have incorporated the e-bikes into their daily service.

The Delfast TopCop is an enduro-style electric bicycle that might be better described as an electric motorcycle… with pedals.

It can reach speeds of up to 50 mph (80 km/h) thanks to its 5kW (6.7 hp) rear hub motor.

The bike also stuffs nearly 3.5kWh of battery into its enclosed frame, providing a range of up to 174 miles (280 km) at city speeds. That’s nearly as much battery capacity as the entry-level Zero FXS electric motorcycle. Yet somehow crammed into a bicycle.

The model is actually based on Delfast’s consumer-oriented Top 2.0 electric bikes. 

The Delfast TopCop adds police-specific hardware such as lights, sirens and storage boxes, among other tweaks to the design.

Various police departments began testing the bikes earlier this year, including the Brevard Police Department in Brevard, North Carolina.

According to Chief of Police J. Phil Harris, the Delfast TopCop has been a hit among officers in his police department. Initially two police offers were trained on the bike for the testing, though more officers have been requesting to take part in the test program.

As Harris explained in a statement provided to Electrek:

I now have about half of my patrol officers asking to be bike trained so they can ride this bike on duty.

The Brevard Police Department already has standard pedal bikes in its patrol fleet, but has found that the Delfast TopCop electric bike allows its bike cops to respond to calls nearly as quickly as patrol cars, and without arriving on scene winded.

As Officer Ronnie explained:

I believe we can utilize the bikes in a number of different ways that we can’t necessarily do on a traditional patrol bike. For example, I was on Ecusta Road when a domestic violence call came out on Gallimore Road. I rode the bike the entire way, approximately 4.3 miles, and I arrived shortly after the units that were responding in their patrol vehicles. I was also not out of breath.

delfast topcop electric bicycle

The Brevard Police Department is also planning to use the Delfast TopCop e-bike for traffic law enforcement, with officers on high speed e-bikes chasing down speeders after they’ve been targeted by stationary officers with LIDAR speed guns.

Officer Ronnie continued:

With the e-bike, we could have a LIDAR certified officer calling out speeding vehicles to an officer on the e-bike and by utilizing the lights and siren on the bike we could conduct traffic stops. I think these bikes would be a great asset to the department and would be greatly utilized in a number of ways.

Electrek’s Take

I think this is a great use for these kind of e-bikes.

Most 50 mph electric bikes are marketed for “off-road use only” or otherwise recommend riders to avoid public roads due to the legal quagmire of such bikes.

But for police use, I can see the appeal of on-road use. These are obviously going to be much faster and utilitarian than pedal bikes. And they won’t require the same kind of upfront investment or upkeep as police electric motorcycles. At a certain point though, I don’t understand why they haven’t just removed the pedals and replaced them with pegs — at least on the police version. I guess if you ever ran out of battery, being able to (slowly) pedal back is an advantage over typical police electric motorcycles.

What do you guys think? Should more police departments incorporate high speed and high-power electric bicycles like the Delfast TopCop into their patrols? Let us know your thoughts in the comment section below.

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Avatar for Micah Toll Micah Toll

Micah Toll is a personal electric vehicle enthusiast, battery nerd and author of the Amazon #1 bestselling books DIY Lithium Batteries, DIY Solar Power and the Ultimate DIY Ebike Guide.

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