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Police worried that electric vehicles aren’t up to chase suspects as petrol car ban is looming

Police forces fear the looming ban on petrol car sales poses a ‘significant challenge’ for them. 

There are still no electric vehicles on the market that can be driven hard and fast enough for officers responding to emergencies or chasing suspects, senior officers say. 

Police chiefs also face having to spend huge amounts of money installing charging points in police station car parks and buying more expensive fleets, when budgets are already stretched. 

The scale of the challenge in switching to emissions-free driving is revealed in a new report by Essex Police. 

It states: ‘The force recognises the significant challenge in meeting the Government’s ban on the sale of new wholly diesel and petrol fuelled vehicles by 2030.

‘This represents a significant increase in demand and is recognised as a Force strategic level risk, acknowledging that there is no current Electric Vehicle (EV) alternative that meets some high-performance roles such as Roads Policing Unit (RPU) and armed response vehicle (ARV). 

‘A ban on hybrid (electric/petrol), does not come into effect until 2035, providing some time to adapt for those high-performance requirements.’ 

The report acknowledges electric cars can replace the nonhigh-performance part of the fleet, but adds: ‘These options are more expensive to purchase, with whole-life (purchase and running) costs, likely exceeding those of the combustion engine equivalent. 

‘Migration pace is also entirely dependent on the availability and access to a suitable charging infrastructure.’ 

The report will put more pressure on ministers to relax the 2030 deadline for the sale of new petrol and diesel cars amid a growing backlash from voters against costly green policies. 

After London’s Ulez clean air scheme cost Labour the Uxbridge and South Ruislip by-election, Government sources said Rishi Sunak is ‘open’ to a rethink on the car ban, despite senior Cabinet minister Michael Gove insisting the timetable is ‘immovable’. 

The report adds that London’s Ulez will ‘likely be implemented in other areas’ and warns: ‘Plug in electric vehicles are currently not ideal in all scenarios due to limited infrastructure.’

Kent Police said: ‘At present electric vehicles are more expensive to purchase, with whole-life (purchase and running) costs exceeding those of the combustion engine equivalent.’ 

The National Police Chiefs Council says it is examining the issue country-wide.

(Source: Daily Mail)

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