Without a charging station nearby those electric vehicles have their limits. Chris Nelson of the British police force in Gloucestershire was forced to admit there are places where this vehicle is not appropriate. His department is made up of more of these vehicles than any other. Sometimes his officers need to change cars due to the charge. But Nelson didn’t want to put down the “go green” slogan.
Electric vehicles must be the future
Nelson spoke with a local politician recently, saying, “We’ve all got to go towards electric vehicles moving forwards. 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.”
The vehicles have trouble with real world demands. “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 on, 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.”
Electric vehicles have their shortcomings
His officers have been telling him the vehicles have been “running out of puff and then having to get another vehicle. I’ve heard lots of problems with officers driving around in electric vehicles having problems trying to find recharging facilities.”
There might be somethings these cars aren’t compatible with. “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.”
This has been going on for a couple years. In 2019 in Fremont, CA a chase had to be abandoned not just because of the electric vehicle but for safety reasons as well.
The officer had radioed at the time, “I am down to six miles of battery on the Tesla, so I may lose it here in a sec. If someone else is able, can they maneuver into the number one spot?”
The car might not be able to do any chasing. James Gilboy of The Drive noted,
“While more efficient than combustion-engined cars, EVs can’t efficiently store the same amount of energy that a gas tank can, and their performance diminishes as their batteries heat up during use. For these (and possibly other) reasons, only one EV so far (the Mach-E) has attained the ‘pursuit-rated’ status so far, potentially slowing the uptake of EVs by American police departments.”