Emerging Issues in Security, Facility Security, Grounds Security

Homeland Security Debuts First Fully Electric Law Enforcement Vehicle for Its Fleet

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) became the first federal agency to debut a battery electric vehicle (EV) fitted for performing law enforcement functions at the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center in Cheltenham, Md. The Ford Mustang Mach-E is the first of a variety of EVs DHS plans to field across its varied law enforcement missions throughout the country.

“DHS is leading the charge among federal agencies to transition its fleet vehicles from internal combustion engines to zero-emission electric vehicles. As the nation’s third-largest federal agency and largest law enforcement agency, DHS has an inventory of more than 50,000 vehicles, with law enforcement vehicles making up 60 percent of its fleet,” said Deputy Secretary of Homeland Security John Tien. “DHS is proud to be the first federal agency to upfit a battery electric vehicle for law enforcement use. As we ramp up EV adoption, we are excited to see how this and other EVs perform for our mission.” 

“DHS is proactively seeking to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. EVs have the potential to significantly improve federal fleet efficiency and reduce vehicle operation and maintenance costs,” said Acting Under Secretary for Management R. D. “Tex” Alles. “DHS is also looking to create climate-resilient facilities and infrastructure, and to continue transitioning the DHS vehicle fleet towards electrification in the years to come.”

In April 2022, DHS completed an upfit of a Ford Mustang Mach-E as a law enforcement vehicle with lights and sirens in accordance Federal Protective Service (FPS) standards. The Mustang Mach-E is undergoing high-threshold testing by the FPS to ensure it will meet the demands required of DHS law enforcement missions. The vehicle must be able to handle a broad spectrum of the stresses including high speeds, maneuverability both on- and off-road, durability, endurance, and technical specifications. FPS is conducting controlled performance benchmarking, which includes building on existing performance data, and an operational assessment of the vehicle through real-world employment by law enforcement officers during their daily routines. Concurrently, FPS is conducting cybersecurity assessments of the vehicle that will inform DHS of potential threats, vulnerabilities, and risks associated with the introduction of EVs into the fleet.

The DHS Climate Action Plan, which was approved by the secretary in September 2021, establishes a longer-range outlook that emphasizes sustainability, energy and water resilience, and fleet electrification. An aspect of the plan’s five priority actions includes incorporating climate adaptation planning and processes into homeland security mission areas, including reviewing current budget planning policies, to assess whether climate change considerations are appropriately incorporated.