The Gloucestershire Constabulary has the UK’s largest electric patrol car fleet, with 21 per cent of its 435 vehicles being EVs, i.e. 66 Nissan Leafs and nine Nissan NV200 vans. However, the new Commissioner for Gloucestershire, Chris Nelson, has now sounded the alarm.
In his recent experience, police officers suffer from a lack of charging infrastructure like any other citizen. “I’ve heard lots of problems with officers driving around in electric vehicles trying to find recharging facilities, running out of puff and then having to get another vehicle,” Nelson said.
The Police Commissioner added, speaking on a recent police and crime panel, “The design options available for electric vehicles for operational uses are not perhaps as advanced as I would like them to be. So, let’s put it like this, I’m cautious about going any further down that road at this stage.”
What he refers to was that patrol cars would often add strain to the batteries by having the siren or heating on while standing, for example, at the site of a road accident.
We’d like to add, though, that the Nissan EVs are not known for their large batteries. Still, a shout-out to the Gloucester Constabulary for trying out EVs relatively early in the game, in 2020. However, as reported, the initiative came through under Nelson’s predecessor, Police Commissioner Martin Surl.
Going through the issues now, perhaps Gloucestershire will be better prepared than other police districts and add charging policies and infrastructure to the premises before the UK bans the sale of new gas and diesel vehicles in 2030.
In recent news, the Council of Gloucestershire had also commissioned Connected Kerb to install 1,000 on-street electric vehicle charging points over the next three years. Residents are currently being asked to give their views on locations, so this looks like the right call for the police.
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