E7 hailed the police car of the future

By Trent Faris - bio l email

LANCASTER, SC (WBTV) - An Atlanta-based company funded buy the Homeland Security Department is developing America's first purpose-built law police cruiser.  A portion of the car is manufactured in the South Carolina town of Lancaster.

To some, the car may remind them of "Kitt" from the hit television show Knight Rider.

The co-founder of Carbon Motors, Stacy Stephens, says the E7 proto-type police cruiser is very real.

"It's built from the ground up, bumper to bumper, specifically for law enforcement," Stephens said.

The E7 comes fully loaded and can travel from 0 to 60 in less than 6 seconds.  It can reach speeds more than 150 miles per hour.  The cruiser comes with a few extras including an automatic license plate recognition camera capable of reading up to 1,500 license plates per minute.

The vehicle has an infrared camera so officers can see in the dark and it is equipped with radiation, chemical and biological sensors.

It has everything a law enforcement officer needs.

"Because they do sit in their cars for 8 to 12 hours, we do have heated and cooled cup holders as well," Stephens said.

The vehicle, however, is not bulletproof but it comes close.

The bumper, hood, roof, doors and even the 911 sticker is covered with a special film manufactured by Soliant in Lancaster.

"It withstands dents, dings and is much easier to repair," Stephens said.

Soliant employs more than 100 people and the company's new relationship with Carbon Motors will help keep people working.

What do officers say about the new ride?

We asked Lt. Jeff Meeks with the Lancaster Police Department.  He said the car has "...everything we've already got now, but it's well placed and put where it needs to be."

Carbon motors wouldn't tell WBTV exactly how much the car will cost, but they say it will be competitive with what other local police departments are using now.

The E7 is more durable than others cruisers on the highway and it is 40 percent more fuel efficient.