Electric car comes to town
Master Sgt. Tony Hockensmith prepares to conduct a short patrol around Patrick Henry Village in Heidelberg, Germany using the T3 Motion April 18. The electric vehicle was added to the garrison's military police fleet last month and is designed to reduce noise and air pollution.

HEIDELBERG, Germany- Military police in Heidelberg, Germany are testing a new vehicle that\'s proven to be a plus for the planet and the garrison's pocketbook.

The T3 Motion is a three-wheeled, battery powered electric vehicle predominantly used by law enforcement, security, government and military agencies. The vehicle doesn't require fuel to operate, and it's designed to reduce air and noise pollution and cut costs.

The T3 Motion arrived last month and was christened during the Month of the Military Child kick-off walk on Patrick Henry Village in Heidelberg April 1.

Master Sgt. Tony Hockensmith, provost sergeant, led a procession of military children, parents and community members through the streets quietly zipping along to ensure the crowd's safety. "It runs off two battery packs and the battery packs can take up to four hours to charge but usually not that long. There's a second set of batteries so if those run out we can just swap. Essentially it could run 24 hours non-stop," Hockensmith said.

Drivers must wear a helmet, eye protection and gloves before operating the T3 Motion. The vehicle supports one rider at a time but an attachment is available to tow small loads.

"It was a cost-savings initiative trying to see what the capabilities and uses of the vehicle are and how we can apply it within the structure of the garrison in order to support the mission," Hockensmith said. He added that the vehicle produces zero emissions. "The only downside may be the electricity use. Otherwise it doesn't draw on nature or environment and the charger will automatically cut itself off when the batteries are full."

The unit purchased the $10,000 vehicle after it turned in one of its patrol cars.

"It is a fuel-efficient vehicle which allows us to interact with the public by reducing barriers and putting us closer to (them)," said Melvin Jones, USAG Baden-WAfA1/4rttemberg director of Emergency Services.

He first spotted the vehicle at a convention last year and wanted to purchase it after test-driving one.

The T3 Motion's average speed ranges from 5 to 32 kilometers an hour and can be adjusted for training purposes.

Jones added that he doesn't know of any other garrison in Germany using the T3 Motion. Right now the directorate only has one T3 Motion but it are looking to expand the fleet. "If the test pans out as we expect, we'd like to procure more vehicles and distribute them throughout the community because they're useful," Jones said.

Page last updated Fri July 22nd, 2011 at 12:16