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European Police Battle Crime, and Global Warming, with Electric Cars

Electric Renault Fluence Z.E. for the Berlin police force
Movies show police cars doing all kinds of high-speed stunts, but the daily routine of police vehicles is much less exciting and energy consuming. The average day is more commonly spent cruising at 30 mph, or at even lower speeds. That’s perfectly suited to an electric car. Some private security services have been using low-speed EVs for few years in fairgrounds or industrial areas, but several Europeans police forces are now officially experimenting with electric cars.

The first were the British. The Thames Valley police bought a Mitsubishi i-MiEV in May 2011. That car is used for routine non-emergency duties in and around Milton Keynes city center. A couple other British cities got Mitsubishi electric cars, with the goal to protect future generations from the worst effects of global warming, but also to protect the public purse from the inevitable and relentless rise in fuel prices. In Germany, the Berlin police bought six electric cars in January. That was part of the Initiative 120 plan, with the goal to have the average police car’s CO2 emissions below 120 grams per km (193 grams per mile). The fleet has several powerful cars, but the addition of two Mitsubishi i-MiEV; two Renault Kangoo Z.E.; two Renault Fluence Z.E.; and two Opel Ampera plug-in hybrids (the European sister of the Chevrolet Volt) makes its average vehicle quite green.


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