Portuguese police recently purchased 8 Nissan Leaf BEVs (battery electric vehicles). They are to be operated by Polícia de Segurança Pública (PSP), which is responsible for policing large urban areas in the country.
According to Nissan, it is the first police force in the world to utilize a fleet of electric vehicles.
These vehicles will be used primarily for the Safe School programme, but they will be decked out with flashing blue lights, sirens, and Policia markings, so they are ready for crime fighting, if or when necessary.
“We pride ourselves in being the first police force in the world to incorporate cars with zero-emission technology as part of our 5,000 vehicle fleet,” said superintendent Paul Gomes Valente, national director of PSP.
“We want to continue reducing pollution in large urban centres and the introduction of the 100 per cent electric Nissan LEAF sets a new benchmark for our fleet.”
Portugal was actually the first country in Europe in which the Nissan Leaf was sold (starting in 2011), and it has influenced the construction of charging stations (also called charge points) in major cities.
Thinking of the potential benefits and drawbacks of this revealed that:
- Due to the silence of electric vehicles, the police could use them to ambush criminals without being heard.
- As electric vehicle sales and usage increases in the police force, the need for charging stations increases, and that leads to the construction of charging points eventually.
- Due to the fact that people tend to pay attention to other people’s new cars, and especially police vehicles, more people will actually see the Nissan Leaf, and it may change their view of electric vehicles for the better. This could help to prove stereotypes wrong.
This could prove to be a relatively thorough test for the Leaf, that will help to reveal what Nissan needs to tweak to enhance it further. The Leaf is also important to the entire existence of electric vehicles and prospective manufacturers in the electric vehicle industry, because they can learn from the mistakes that Nissan made with the Leaf, or its successes.
New industries always have plenty to learn. This is only the beginning!
Photo Credit: Nissan
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