According to figures released a few days ago, Police Scotland has so far purchased 599 customized electric vehicles over a period of three years in a bid to become the greenest police fleet within the United Kingdom. These vehicles cost the department £15.2m (almost $19 million), and an additional £3.1m ($3.8 million) went to the installation of 130 charging stations located within 26 police stations spread across the country.
The number of charging locations is scheduled to increase from the current 130 to more than 400 as more EVs are bought by the force and deployed for use by officers in more than 50 different locations. A spokesman for Police Scotland commented that the force has a strategic vision of being a sustainable, efficient and fit-for-purpose entity. To realize this strategic vision, the force needed to make certain investments, such as those connected to the fleet, in order to make the new model operational.
It was revealed that Police Scotland penned a £25 million ($30.9 million) contract in 2020 with automaker Hyundai so that the entire fleet of the police force can be electric by the end of this decade. With about £19 million ($23.5 million) already spent, what is left will go toward acquiring additional EVs as well as setting up the needed charging infrastructure for the police.
Currently, all the EVs in the fleet remain unmarked and are being used by detectives as well as uniformed police officers to perform nonurgent work, such as making scheduled visits in the course of police investigations. However, the plan is to mark all these vehicles and have them become involved in all police work, including responding to 999 calls.
These vehicles got their first time in the limelight when the police used them to move COP26 VIP guests from one conference venue to another. The COP26 conference took place in November 2021.
The police also revealed that any money that wasn’t spent in any of its other departments was reallocated to the fleet in order to accelerate the transition to electric cars. This comes as other public service departments remain woefully behind in their plans to acquire zero-emission vehicles for their fleets.
For example, only a paltry 17% of the fleet operated by Scotland’s fire-and-rescue department is electric. The situation is worse in the forestry department with only 4% of the vehicles being electric. If all these departments followed the lead of Police Scotland, the market for electric vehicle makers across the board, including Mullen Automotive Inc. (NASDAQ: MULN), would likely increase significantly.
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