Electric cars are being trialled in Lincolnshire as part of a drive by the police and crime commissioner to create the “greenest” police force in the UK.
Police and Crime Commissioner Marc Jones has already instigated a project to change lighting at Lincolnshire Police HQ to LEDs – saving the equivalent of two officers’ salaries a year.
The LED lighting project, which cost £350,000, has been paid for using a Government-backed funding scheme, which means the force pay back the cost of the work from the savings made.
And he has commissioned a full report on the latest sustainable technologies available to the force, which will form the basis of a new environmental strategy.
Officers are currently testing the Nissan LEAF. Initially the force is looking at electric vehicles for community roles rather than pursuit.
The Nissan LEAF has a range of up to 155 miles and is fitted with a braking system which converts some of the energy lost from braking into extra charge for the battery and stores it.
Mr Jones said: “I’m ambitious for Lincolnshire Police to become the ‘greenest’, most sustainable force in the UK.
“I have requested a full assessment of opportunities to develop this aim. I want to see our buildings assessed for opportunities to be more efficient and to embrace new technologies to reduce carbon footprint and cost to the taxpayers of Lincolnshire.
“I want to see the vehicles used by the force keeping pace with operational requirements but also with changing technology to ensure pollution and fuel use is kept to a minimum.
“Challenges around charging points for electric vehicles and the distances involved to cover Lincolnshire will present a huge challenge, but one that we can and will meet.”
The trial and drive for a sustainable force is backed by Chief Constable Bill Skelly.
“I want Lincolnshire Police to make a positive contribution to the county, providing excellent policing, but we also need to look at how we deliver that service. To that end, I want to explore all options for improving our energy efficiency,” he said.
“This trial of a single electric vehicle will be a pre-cursor to a much broader plan for using electric vehicles. Alongside this, I support a review of energy efficiency across the whole estate to highlight opportunities for reducing energy usage and maximising our ability to utilise renewable energy sources.”