Scotland Yard To Green Its Fleet With Purchase Of Up To 700 Electric Cars

1 week ago by Steven Loveday 10

“The response from police drivers to the BMW i3 has been very positive. It’s actually a very quick car.”

“The response from police drivers to the BMW i3 has been very positive. It’s actually a very quick car.”

Scotland Yard has a fleet of about 4,000 vehicles, and the time has come to update many of them.

In a “green” effort, the Metropolitan Police Department will start by transitioning 250 of them to hydrogen and electric cars. The new vehicles will be put in place over the course of the next 12 months.

The Toyota Mirai may be the choice for emergency response vehicles.

The Toyota Mirai may be the choice for emergency response vehicles.

Included in the initial plan is hydrogen fuel cell cars, specifically for emergency response vehicles, 30 plug-in hybrids for responding to “999” calls, additional larger vehicles (vans) for crime scenes, and 1o vehicles for Royalty protection officers.

The hope is that at least half of the police force is driving electric cars by next year. This is all part of a multi-million program which includes replacing about 700 vehicles. Monies are also allocated for infrastructure, and the capital area will get five hydrogen chargers.

The organization has looked into the BMW i3 and the Toyota Mirai as viable options. Hydrogen scooters are a possibility for specific patrol routes.  At this point, officials aren’t ruling out any automakers or vehicles, as long as they are “clean.” Talks have included vehicles from Ford, Nissan, Mercedes, Renault, and Volkswagen, among others. All vehicle types are also being considered, from mopeds, to cars, and vans. The chief of police, Bernard Hogan-Howe, reportedly spoke personally with Elon Musk about the concept of using Tesla vehicles for “front line” operations.

Trials are already underway and more are planned. The BMW i3 REX has been successful in testing, specifically due to its acceleration. Hydrogen scooters manufactured by Suzuki are also being tested. Jiggs Bharij, the head of the Metropolitan Police fleet services, said:

“The response from police drivers to the BMW i3 has been very positive. It’s actually a very quick car.”

This is all comforting to residents due to the poor air quality in London. Many people have threatened to leave the area if changes aren’t initiated. Sian Berry, a member of the London Assembly Green Party concluded:

“A lot of new and positive ideas are being trailed and considered by the Met here … But what we need from them is a firm deadline for getting all diesel police vehicles off the road. Every organisation 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.”

Source: EveningStandard

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11 responses to "Scotland Yard To Green Its Fleet With Purchase Of Up To 700 Electric Cars"

  1. Musicious says:

    Hydrogen is a joke, sad to see them waste money on it

    1. Mil says:

      Agreed. So much hassle to ship and transport hydrogen around. Electricity is basically everywhere. Seems a no brainer to me.

      1. SJC says:

        You have yard fueling with local electrolyzers and renewable power contracts, no transporting of hydrogen.

        1. Martin Winlow says:

          Please don’t be ridiculous! The dreadful inefficiency of what you are suggestion would render that system 3 times more expensive than it is already! And mixing policemen with one of the most reactive elements in the universe would not end well!

          The Met has a history of wasting vast amounts of money on completely hare-brained ideas and this is another. There are only 5 refuelling points in London at the moment (inside the M25 – Vs ~600 petrol/diesel ones https://www.netinform.de/H2/H2Stations/H2Stations.aspx?Continent=EU&StationID=-1 ) and with each new H2 one costing about £2m, it is going to be a scandalous farce watching this scheme fail. The police simply have not got the time to drive from one side of London to another only to put 150 miles of H2 back in their response vehicles. If you are based in one of the NE boroughs of London, for example, it would currently be a 90 minute return trip to the nearest existing H2 refuelling point (at normal speeds).

          These vehicles are driven *hard* especially the Immediate Response ones so fuel consumption will be high. It is bad enough as it is with (mostly) diesel engined vehicles. Pure electric makes much more sense as all the Met’s patrol bases are sited in industrial units with 3 phase power on tap so each could have several DC rapid chargers and cars be plugged in at the end of the (typically) 8 hour shift whilst their crews do their paperwork and the new crews get briefed (and have their cuppa). With average daily IRV mileage at around 50 miles, even the current crop of EVs would work generally perfectly well. Simple (and 1/4 of the cost).

  2. Mark C says:

    An i3 may be quick, but I wouldn’t want to try and run from a Model S P100D, with its longer range (even including the weak range extender engine the i3 carries), greater acceleration and top speed.

    But since we’re only talking about 1/16th of the fleet……

    1. SteveSeattle says:

      With London’s narrow congested streets I can see why they like the i3 with its small footprint and turning circle.
      If only the Bolt/Ampera-e were available in the UK. It is similar in size to the Astra and Focus patrol cars that are so popular there.

    2. Ben says:

      In Europe police often won’t take part in high speed chases, as this leads to even more speed and danger to other people on the street. They gonna catch you anyway. You wont need a police car faster than an i3. Small turns and being able to be quick in narrow streets and carry stuff or a dog etc in your car are more important.

      1. Martin Winlow says:

        I agree that high speed chases are a lot less common than they were 20 years back but if you think they all dawdle along when responding to serious (or even not so serious) ‘immediate’-graded calls then you are very mistaken.

        The very first thing that alarms me as far as the i3 is concerned is the rear-hinged rear doors (they are not nick-named ‘suicide doors’ for nothing). Not exactly ideal for transporting prisoners.

        On the other hand it will be very interesting to see how the i3’s plastic body holds up to police work.

  3. Tom says:

    95 percent of the hydrogen produced in the United States and elsewhere currently is through Steam methane reforming. This is a catalytic process that involves reacting natural gas or other light hydrocarbons with steam to produce a mixture of hydrogen and carbon dioxide. The mixture is then separated to produce high-purity hydrogen.

    Partial oxidation of fossil fuels in large gasifiers is another method of thermal hydrogen production. Partial oxidation can be applied to a wide range of hydrocarbon feedstock, including natural gas, heavy oils, solid biomass, and coal.

    Hydrogen can also be produced by using electricity Hydrogen can also be produced by using electricity in electrolyzers to extract hydrogen from water lengthy process.

  4. Windbourne says:

    wow.
    H2?
    That choice, without an adequate set-up or decent cars, almost indicates a bribe of some sort.
    Very strange.

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