Police forces across the UK are set for a green revolution over the next few years as their fleets begin to test hydrogen, hybrid and electric cars.
The Metropolitan Police of London are amongst the frontrunners in this new campaign as they plan to put 250 alternative energy cars on the roads of London within the next 18 months. By 2019 the Met Police hope to have replaced 700 of the organizations 4,000 vehicle fleet with environmentally friendly options.
Chief of the Metropolitan police force, Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe, has spoken directly with Tesla boss, Elon Musk, regarding a possible trial with Tesla’s. Musk thinks that’s the Tesla Model S would be an ideal pursuit car, given the speed, range, reliability and environmentally friendly nature of the vehicle.
The move comes amid fears of extreme pollution affecting the health of Londoners, with multiple warnings coming over the past few weeks of heavy smog in the air. The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, has been working closely with the police on the scheme and is positive that the initiative will catch on and spread to other services.
For the first time in UK history, 30 electric cars will be available to respond to emergency calls across the nation’s capital in the next year. Teslas are not the only cars to be tested, with Ford, Mercedes, Nissan, Renault and VW options available to them. Suzuki are working on a scooter for officers, Toyota have a hydrogen car under testing and BMW have already had the £30,000 BMW i3 Range Extender under police trial and the results have been largely well received.
Jiggs Bharij – Head of the Met’s fleet services:
“The response from police drivers to the BMW i3 has been very positive. It’s actually a very quick car. We have to make sure that we have an operational police fleet which can respond to 24/7 policing, that is our top priority. We have an ambition to deploy 250 alternative energy cars, vans and motorcycles on the road within the next 12 months. To support this we need to make sure that there are charging points available across the estate and that the vehicles are capable of carrying and powering additional police equipment which enables officers and members of the public to remain safe at the scene of an incident. These first vehicles are a stepping stone that will allow us to build the volume over time once we have the right technology and infrastructure in place. But what we need from them is a firm deadline for getting all diesel police vehicles off the road. Every organization with a fleet in London needs to be making plans for this to happen as soon as possible, and this needs to start with the Mayor’s own bodies, including TfL and the Met.”
Hydrogen powered scooters are also being tested by the Metropolitan Police which would go to PCSOs patrolling bus lanes and roads.