The boys in blue are going green: at least in terms of the cars they drive.
Police Service Northern Ireland has taken hold of a Vauxhall Ampera at the eDRIVE electric vehicle event and will now use the car as part of a trial of extended range electric vehicle technology. The vehicle will be used in Belfast’s city centre to respond to incidents.
The extended range vehicle technology in the Ampera has already taken the car to awards such as European Car of the Year 2012 and, according to Marcus Belshaw, who is the head of transport for Police Service Northern Ireland, it should be excellent for emergency services because it uses both an electric motor and petrol engine: meaning there is no concern about range.
“We’re looking forward to putting the revolutionary Ampera through its paces responding to incidents while also reducing our emissions and providing significant savings on fuel costs,” he said.
Indeed the police force will also benefit from the fact that charging infrastructure has been rapidly developed in Northern Ireland. Currently, electric vehicle owners are no further than 10miles from the nearest charger.
Celebrity Ampera owner and motoring journalist Quentin Willson was present to mark the handover along with Ian Allen, the chairman of the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders’ Electric Vehicle Committee. Mr Willson believes the police will gain real benefits from the Ampera.
“If the Northern Ireland Police are as happy as I am with my Ampera then I’m sure they will have a long and productive relationship with the vehicle,” he said.
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