There is plenty of criticism leveled at electric vehicles these days, some of it legitimate, some of it not. And while I don’t think most consumers will be buying an electric car anytime soon, many private and public fleets are finding that electric vehicles more than suit their needs. The Portuguese Public Police force are the latest to jump on the EV bandwagon, purchasing a fleet of eight Nissan Leafs to patrol urban areas and schools.
The Nissan Leaf is especially appealing in Europe, where $9-a-gallon gasoline is the norm. In fact, prices in Portugal are hovering in the $8-a-gallon range, which makes filling up even a 10-gallon gas tank an expensive proposition. That’s why other police forces, like that of Berlin, Germany, have already brought EV’s into their fleets. The Portugal Police no doubt hope that the Leafs will offset their high costs by saving on expensive fuel, though eight EV’s out of a fleet of 5,000 will not have much impact on government coffers. Yet even in the U.S., where gas is comparitively cheap, some police forces can’t even afford to show up at every crime scene because of the cost of gas.
However, if this first wave of Nissan Leaf police cars proves potent enough, it could lead the way for other EV’s to take on police duty. This is especially in urban settings where police cruisers guzzle the most gas, and even Hong Kong has hopped on the EV train, albeit opting for cheaper Brammo motorcycles to outfit their patrol officers. Still, it’s hard to be intimidated by a vehicle whose 0-60 mph time should be measured in minutes, not seconds.