SURREY’S Police and Crime Commissioner David Munro has hailed a move towards a greener and more efficient police fleet in Surrey and Sussex as 60 new electric cars to be used across the two counties were unveiled.
Each force is taking ownership of 30 unmarked BMW i3s which will replace more costly fossil-fuelled vehicles that were reaching the end of their life and already due for replacement over the next year.
The vehicles will not be used for responding to incidents but will help officers carry out day-to-day policing activities such as visiting victims or witnesses to take statements, as part of door-to-door inquiries or by crews on short patrols.
The new electric vehicles should save approximately 5p per mile on fuel costs and can be driven for around 120 to 200 miles between charges with a small petrol engine in the back as a range extender if required.
The investment is part of a three year pilot and is estimated to initially save each force up to £120,000 over five years, just from the reduced fuel, servicing, maintenance and repair costs.
PCC David Munro said: “Two of the key priorities in my Police and Crime Plan are building a force fit for the future and making every pound count so I am delighted to be taking delivery of these electric vehicles.
“I am committed to finding ways to deliver effective policing whilst reducing our costs to the local tax payer. The cost of fuelling these cars is less than a third of a conventional petrol or diesel vehicle so I hope they will not only help save money but will also reduce our co2 emissions and cutting our carbon footprint.
“As well as saving public money and being kinder to the environment, I believe they will be popular with our policing teams and I am excited to see the benefits they will bring.
“This is a pilot scheme over the next three years and we are spending public money so we will of course be closely monitoring how they work but I believe this marks a significant step towards providing a greener and more efficient fleet for the future.”
Assistant Chief Constable Steve Barry said: “With an ever-increasing demand to meet future policing needs, these electric vehicles will enable our staff and officers to carry out their daily tasks while also reducing emissions and running costs.
“Modernising policing is a key component of our 18-22 Transformation Plan, and this investment demonstrates our determination to push forward with substantial change, collaboration and technology-driven improvements.
“The BMW i3s will be assessed following a three-year pilot scheme.”
Photo shows David Munro with Sergeant Nigel Parker