GREEN: West Midlands Police with Nissan Leaf
Law enforcement teams, firefighters and medics across Europe are adopting Nissan Leaf – the world’s most popular electric vehicle – as a key frontline emergency support vehicle.
Emergency services in UK, Portugal, France and Switzerland have deployed Leafs as community support vehicles, with a number of other countries potentially switching to battery power in 2013.
The Leaf has been chosen by the various first responders for differing reasons but all cite the car’s zero emissions credentials as the most important motivation.
West Midlands Police, for example, have ordered 30 Nissan Leafs for use by their officers to visit crime victims and attend other pre-arranged meetings as ‘diary cars.’
Averaging around 70kms a day – well within a full charge range – these Leafs allow the force to free-up their vehicle fleet for other vital crime-fighting duties.
Bob Jones, Police and Crime Commissioner for the West Midlands Police, said: “The Leafs fit in perfectly with our operational requirements and will significantly cut our fuel costs while also reducing our carbon footprint.”
Meanwhile, the Scottish Police Services Authority (SPSA) have taken delivery of two Nissan Leafs for community work.
The move not only saves SPSA money but also supports ambitious plans set out by the Scottish Government to become carbon neutral by 2050.
Elsewhere, to accommodate their new fleet of Nissan Leafs, the County Durham Fire and Rescue Service have ensured their new headquarters are EV friendly.
Three charging points are planned as the service looks to further expand their environmental commitment by adding more electric vehicles to their fleet.
Jean-Pierre Diernaz, Director of Electric Vehicles in Europe for Nissan, said: “Emergency first responders and law enforcement communities rely heavily on their vehicles.
“The fact that so many forces across Europe are choosing Nissan Leaf for urban-based community support roles shows how significant zero emissions and low running costs – fuel and maintenance – have become.
“As well as helping to save the environment, vastly reduced fuel bills mean a fleet of Nissan Leafs can make a serious contribution to a bottom line, making budget savings that can be reinvested in supporting the communities in which they serve.”
In June, French community nurse Sylvie Lailler purchased the milestone 10,000th Nissan Leaf to arrive in Europe since sales began in March 2011.
She uses her Leaf to make daily house visits to elderly patients near the north west of Paris.
Meanwhile, the first force in the world to go electric were Portugal’s Polícia de Segurança Pública (PSP), who run eight Nissan Leafs as part of their Safe School Program.
Fitted with blue flashing lights, sirens and clear ‘Polícia’ markings they can also perform other police duties at any time.
Superintendent Paul Gomes Valente, National Director of PSP, said: “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.
“We want to continue contributing to the reduction in pollution in large urban centres and the introduction of the 100% electric Nissan Leaf sets a new benchmark for our fleet.”