Police forces in the United Kingdom have squandered over a million pounds on electric cars that are incapable of chasing criminals or performing emergency services because the eco-friendly vehicles are too slow and take too long to charge.
A freedom of information request found that police in the UK have spent £1.49 million on 448 green cars and vans. However, the actual cost of the eco-police fleets is likely much higher as many districts have not reported their purchases.
The official police reports admit that the battery-powered cars are incapable of fulfilling police duties such as chasing criminals or handling emergency response situations and often run out of power before a shift ends.
The vehicles are used almost exclusively in non-emergency situations or to drive police chiefs to work, reports the Daily Mail.
The Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) has bought dozens of electric cars. However, the force admitted in an internal report that: “The market has not yet sufficiently matured to offer alternatively fuelled vehicles capable of meeting the MPS requirements for the role of pursuit cars.”
Scotland Yard, which plans to have an entirely “green” fleet by the year 2050, has bought 134 green vehicles in large part to comply with the £12.50 daily Ultra Low Emission Zone charge imposed by Mayor Sadiq Khan.
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A report from Staffordshire Police says: “Vehicles that are less damaging to the environment are struggling to cope with the arduous needs of emergency service; autonomous driving and safety systems are not conducive to pursuit or response driving.”
In an annual survey, the police force in Kent found that the Nissan Leaf and the BMW i3 had inadequate range and take too long to recharge.
Conservative Party MP David Davies, a former special constable, said that the police leadership should show some “common sense”.
“I’ve been in a police car on many occasions when an emergency call has come in. You can’t predict what is going to happen and so they need to be very careful when using electric cars,” Davies said.
Tim Rogers, the spokesman on pursuits for the Police Federation, said that the British public should not worry about police not being able to respond to emergencies “because their cars have run out of battery”, as the police “are still able to use other vehicles”.
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