Electric police cars “run out of puff” when responding to crimes

Police officers are having trouble responding to emergencies due to the range of electric vehicles, according to the Police and Crime Commissioner Chris Nelson.

Speaking to a police and crime panel in Gloucestershire, Nelson said he was concerned by the operational impact electric vehicles are having on the constabulary.

According to a Freedom of Information (FOI) requested submitted by EV Powered last year, Gloucestershire Police operates the second largest fleet of all the constabularies in the UK with 89 battery electric vehicles in service at the time of the report.

However, the Stroud News and Journal reported last week that Nelson had issued concerns over the charging facilities in the county and said that they “run out of puff” and have to be replaced by another vehicle.

Responding to a question from Nailsworth councillor Steve Robinson who asked if the PCC supported the use of electric cars, Nelson said: “We’ve all got to go towards electric vehicles moving forwards. We have the largest fleet by percentage size. That has brought its problems.

“The design options available for electric vehicles for operational uses are not perhaps as advanced as I would like them to be. So, let’s put it like this, I’m cautious about going any further down that road at this stage.

“I’d like to see more operational choice so that, for instance, if an officer is out in a rural area on a road traffic accident and his lights are one, his radio is on, his heater is on, I wouldn’t want him to run out of power for all of those different facilities, simply because he or she is in an electric car.

“I’ve heard lots of problems with officers driving around in electric vehicles having problems trying to find recharging facilities. Running out of puff and then having to get another vehicle.

“So, although the world is going down that road and I fully understand and support climate controls and green areas, it’s definitely an important thing but my first priority is to fight crime. And therefore, I have to take the operational effect into account.”

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