Given the ‘green’ revolution and the desire to reduce carbon emissions, it was only a matter of time before a police force finally began patrolling the streets in an electric car. From December 2014, the West Midlands Police will be driving Mitsubishi MiEV all-electric cars around the streets of Birmingham.
Mitsubishi i-MiEV. Image: Google UK
This is huge news for proponents of electric cars and of course for Mitsubishi as their £30,000 EV will garner tremendous publicity. It has a top speed of 81mph and a range of 100 miles so it will be used for urban policing.
Nicknamed the ‘blues and twos’, the MiEV can carry four adults and a host of equipment in comfortable surroundings. The car is being trialled by a Coventry and Birmingham Low Emission Demonstrator (CABLED) scheme which is set to last 12 months.
As the MiEV is too expensive to allow for any major switchover, paying a heavily-subsidised monthly rental fee will greatly reduce the cost as will the savings on fuel. According to the head of the force’s Fleet Services, Andy Kelly, the police are looking at every aspect of the fleet’s carbon footprint to balance the force’s needs against any new products available. He said electric cars ‘are the future’ and promised the police would monitor EVs closely from now on.
A Community Support Officer will be the first to drive the car and around 24 MiEVs will be given to other West Midlands public sector partners. Mr Kelly said the main priority is to ensure the vehicle fits in with the requirements of police officers and he believes these electric cars do just that.
The MiEV was showcased at the National Police Show in September 2013 and was so popular that Mitsubishi were quickly hit with multiple requests from UK Police Forces who wanted to use the vehicle on trial. However, the West Midlands Police are the first to use an electric car to fight crime.
Lance Bradley, the Manufacturing Director of Mitsubishi, spoke of his delight that the police forces can see zero emissions vehicles are the future with no need to compromise.