The Newton Police Department and Alliant Energy partnered this fall to add new technology to the city. A Zero electric motorcycle has been purchased for the Newton Police Department to use in patrol. This high-performance vehicle is capable of reaching speeds of up to 100 MPH. The motorcycle also operates very quietly, allowing for stealth patrol where silence is an advantage.

The motorcycle was funded through Alliant Energy’s Bright Ideas grant program. This program funds projects that demonstrate energy efficiency, educate on existing or emerging technologies, or prove effectiveness of cutting-edge energy technologies.

This grant will cover the cost of the motorcycle, safety gear, and training for police officers. The total amount awarded was $26,000. The Zero motorcycle will save money on transportation costs, while providing better access and maneuverability in places such as parks, trails, and crowded events. It is an opportunity to educate the Newton community and beyond about the benefits of alternatively fueled vehicles.

As only the second police department in Iowa to utilize an electric motorcycle, Newton stands to serve as a leader through public outreach and education. Energy usage statistics will be made available to the public through the Zero motorcycle’s Bluetooth monitoring capability. The data collected includes average watts per mile, cost per mile, money saved compared to gas, and the reduction of CO2 emissions in comparison to gas. The Zero motorcycle will also require less maintenance, providing greater savings. All of its benefits will help Newton to be a safer, more sustainable community.