Police make big savings from electric vehicle switch

Gloucestershire police have generated six figure annual savings, by switching part of their fleet to electric vehicles. 

As of 2020, the regional police force has switched 21% of its fleet to electric, representing 74 vehicles. And the result is a £137,000 saving per year on fuel and maintenance – as well as cutting 190 tonnes of carbon emissions a year, into the streets and lanes around the county. 

“We can see the cost benefits, we can see the benefits on the environment,” according to Steve Imm, head of transport services, Gloucestershire Constabulary. “It’s a no brainer for us, it’s a natural transition and it makes absolute sense.”

The initiative is fully explained in a programme produced by the Fully Charged Show, which saw presenter Robert Llewellyn visit the force’s headquarters and speak to key members of the constabulary responsible for acting as electric vehicle evangelists.

Gloucester is now acting as a role model for police forces, who are looking to improve their environmental performance and do more with less money. While some UK police forces have yet to commission even one electric vehicle onto their fleet, Gloucester has proved it is possible to go green, yet still perform a vital public service. 

The authority started its journey away from fossil fuels in 2016, when six electric Nissan Leafs were added to the fleet. In 2018, six more were added and, as teams got the hang of sharing the quiet, smooth vehicles, the transition accelerated. As well as 74 vehicles, the transport team have also installed 87 charging points across 16 locations in the county, covering rural areas as well as urban police stations. The force aims to add solar PV on its buildings, to help provide the electricity needed to power the vehicles. 

The push towards greener transport was led by Martin Surl, the county’s police and crime commissioner, who simply commented: “It seemed to be the right thing to do.” The force first trialled the hybrid Vauxhall Ampera, which while the drivers loved it, did not have the electric range required. It then tested out the Nissans. “It just came good about a year ago, when the new Leaf came on board,” Surl told the programme. “We’ve had to get the infrastructure right, you’ve got to believe in this and you’ve got to make it easy for people.” 

So far, the electric vehicles are used more by administrative teams. But the day may come when felons in Gloucestershire may find themselves chased down by a Tesla. Said Imm: “These aren’t response cars yet – there’s an aspiration to move towards that.”

To watch the video in full on YouTube, click here