RD435 - FY 2022 Fleet Replacement Schedule – October 1, 2021

Executive Summary:

The Department of State Police (Department) is facing new funding challenges replacing the patrol vehicles for its Troopers. The three areas presenting challenges include Ford Motor Company (Ford) discontinuing the Police Interceptor sedan model; Ford not producing and delivering 170 out of 342 vehicles as expected prior to July 1, 2021, due to a global microchip shortage; and the projected costs of maintaining an aging fleet with one fourth of our patrol vehicles over 100,000 miles.

In 2019, Ford discontinued production of the Police Interceptor sedan model, which began the search for a suitable replacement police pursuit rated patrol vehicle. The costs of the new 2020-2021 Ford Interceptor Utility patrol vehicle is 53% more than the 2019 Ford Interceptor sedan. Furthermore, due to the redesign of the vehicle, most of the supplemental emergency equipment that was reused in the previous vehicle, will not transfer, and cannot be utilized in the newly designed vehicle. This results in additional costs for equipping new vehicles. After months of careful research and evaluation, it was determined the 2020 Ford Interceptor Utility SUV was the only viable for the Troopers based on vehicle safety, availability, dealer support, maintenance, performance and overall lifetime costs.

Additionally, Ford agreed to produce and deliver 342 vehicles prior to July 1, 2021. However, due to COVID-19 and the global microchip shortage, delivery has been significantly delayed. After continuous follow-up with Ford, the Department has received confirmation that the remainder of the order (170 vehicles) will be delivered by the winter of 2021.

Currently, one fourth of the Department’s patrol vehicle fleet has over 100,000 miles and is costing the Department approximately $1,050,000.00 annually with service and repair for these higher mileage, heavy-duty emergency vehicles. Should these high mileage vehicles remain in service beyond the Department’s current vehicle replacement policy of 130,000 miles, the Department’s repair and maintenance costs will continue to increase for repairing major components such as engines, transmission, emissions systems and air conditioning.

The Department usually forecasts 18 months in advance with the annual vehicle needs because of how our fiscal years end, eVA vehicle renewal contract dates, vehicle manufacturer order banks, production and delivery times, and cut-off dates. Utilizing this method ensures the vehicles are ordered, received and properly equipped by the Department’s installation technicians in the established timeframe. This vehicle order is scheduled to be placed before November 1, 2021, contingent on the contract renewal through the Virginia Division of Purchases and Supply (DPS), so the vehicles can be received by spring 2022.

Emergency vehicles must be safe, dependable and ready to respond at a moment’s notice. The Department cannot minimize potential vehicle failures or safety issues with aging, high mileage vehicles while the Troopers are responding to emergencies, service calls or routine patrol duties. In light of the various challenges, the Department is requesting additional funding to address the deficit in refreshing the fleet so as not to risk and jeopardize the safety and lives of the Troopers and the public.

In the FY2022 budget, the Department was appropriated $6.4 million, which is only sufficient to purchase 137 Ford Interceptor patrol SUVs. With the anticipated allotment of the additional $7.1 million that is contingent upon submission of this report, the Department will be able to purchase another 153 vehicles, for a total of 290. However, the Department needs an average of 366 vehicles per year just to maintain its current replacement schedule. On average, the annual deficit will continue to mount, driving up actual replacement mileage far beyond the current 130,000 miles. Therefore, it is recommended that the original appropriation of $9.5 million be fully restored.