Summer 2015

Electric Avenue

Energy-efficient motorcycle added to Tufts police force

The Tufts Police Department now has an electric motorcycle in its patrol fleet. Housed on the Cummings School campus, the motorcycle will reduce fuel and maintenance costs in the department.

“Each mile ridden on an electric motorcycle is considerably less expensive due to the elimination of routine engine maintenance and gas expenses,” says Sgt. Glenn McCune, who was the impetus behind the new vehicle. “Compared with standard gas-operated vehicles, we’ll start making back our investment on day one.”

Tufts Police Sgt. Glenn McCune on the new electric motorcycle. Photo: Matthew Healey

Tufts Police Sgt. Glenn McCune on the new electric motorcycle. Photo: Matthew Healey

The motorcycle can be plugged into any standard electrical outlet and runs for about eight hours without needing a recharge. It has a silent engine and on- and off-road capabilities that will make it easier to access remote areas of the 585-acre Grafton campus, including open pastures and expanses of woodlands. In addition to minimizing noise pollution, the electric engine produces no exhaust. Before the motorcycle arrived, the Tufts Police had two officers in Grafton and one cruiser.

McCune sought the green vehicle because of the cost savings and a desire to meet the university’s sustainability goals. In 2012, Tufts President Anthony P. Monaco established the Campus Sustainability Council, which has made recommendations for reducing waste, energy and water consumption and greenhouse gas emissions on all three university campuses. Sustainability has been a decades-long priority. In 1990, Tufts developed the Talloires Declaration, a blueprint for incorporating sustainability and environmental literacy into higher education.

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