Office for Low Emission Vehicles is paying to install electric charging points around the county
· Facilitating the use of electric vehicles will enable the Police to make an important contribution to reducing emissions
· Solar panels on the Waterwells estate will pay for themselves within six years and will then contribute to the police budget
· Commissioner to continue root and branch audit of the Constabulary’s environmental footprint
Charging points for Gloucestershire’s electric police cars have been installed around the county at a considerably reduced cost to the Constabulary.
The Office for Low Emission Vehicles (OLEV), part of the Department of Transport, is picking-up 75% of the £125,757 bill for fitting plug-in points at 11 different locations.
Whereas Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) Martin Surl will write a cheque for £31,439 a Government grant of £94,318 will clear the rest of the bill.
The agreement, which also includes three years maintenance and warranty, was reached before the recent PCC election but could not be announced in case it affected the outcome.
Mr. Surl said, “We’ve carried out a number of trials to make sure the technology is right for the police as using electric cars for certain types of jobs not only helps to save money, but is better for the environment.
“We know from the Volkswagen emissions scandal that diesels are not as good for the environment as we thought. I believe battery-powered cars are the way forward and in 10 years’ time, perhaps all of Gloucestershire’s police cars could be electric.
“Other forces could also follow suit because I believe the police can and should make an important contribution to reducing emissions by using cleaner vehicles”.
In line with his election manifesto, Mr. Surl is keen for the force to adopt a greener option and in March this year bought seven Nissan Leafs. Three are marked cars for use in urban areas. The other four will be unmarked for use in other operations.
A further boost for the Commissioner’s long term goal came with news of an agreement with National Grid and OFGEM, the industry regulator, over the feed-in tariff for the solar panels on Prism House. It means that not only do they currently provide 25% of the energy used in the building, but they will pay for themselves within six years. After that, any surplus raised will go into the police budget.