Initiative 120: Berlin Police Adopt EVs and Hybrids

Berlin Police Department Initiative 120
photo courtesy of Gruene Autos

Blue striping on a white background makes the eleven new cars roaming the streets of Berlin immediately recognizable as emergency vehicles (although the word “POLICE” in white text down the side doesn’t hurt). What’s invisible to the average eye is that underneath the hood, these vehicles are rather more green than blue. These are the new hybrid and electric cars now working for the Berlin Police Department.

Why electric and hybrid cars for the Berlin cops? There are several reasons, publicity and politics among them, but the official reason is given as Initiative 120 – the EU goal of having an average of less than 120 g/km of carbon dioxide output for all cars everywhere (or at least all new cars).

Blue Is the New Green?

One set of hybrids in question – the three newest additions to the green blue fleet – all go by the name Toyota Prius, and they have no trouble whatsoever remaining below the emissions limit. As the Prius has both an innovative hybrid drive system and particularly good aerodynamics, it boasts good enough mileage to emit just 89 g/km of carbon dioxide. In heavy city traffic, the Prius can even be driven on its electric motor only, reducing emissions to zero. It also doesn’t hurt that the Prius has been declared particularly reliable.

The police also drive a pair of Opel Amperas (also known as Chevy Volts). The cars have a pure-electric range of 25-50 miles, after which the range-extending gasoline generator kicks in to recharge the battery. On a full tank (9 gallons), the Volt has a range of 379 miles.

The pure electric cars include two each of the following: Mitsubishi i-MiEVs, Renault Fluence ZEs and Kangoo ZEs. These allow officers to drive with no emissions on routine patrols, or at least short-range ones.

In a press conference the day the Toyotas were officially handed over to the police department, police official Margarete Koppers expressed Berlin’s support of Initiative 120 (as reported by Gruene Autos):

“With the procurement of these vehicles we want to uphold our motto of ‘Blue Drives Green’ and make a contribution toward reducing carbon dioxide emissions and thereby helping the environment.”

Questions? Comments? Let us know below.

Source | Image: Gruene Autos.

Charis Michelsen

spent 7 years living in Germany and Japan, studying both languages extensively, doing translation and education with companies like Bosch, Nissan, Fuji Heavy, and others. Charis has a Bachelor of Science degree in biology and currently lives in Chicago, Illinois. She also believes that Janeway was the best Star Trek Captain.