Dorset Police will use two electric scooters and an electric car built by EVT, to patrol the streets for the first time at the Labour party conference in Bournemouth next month and, if successful, could roll them out across the fleet.
Mervyn Adams, fleet manager at Dorset Police, said: 'We thought the scooters would be useful for certain tasks in the force. We use cycles and scooters as a viable option. We use patrols in town centres and have community beat officers like the local bobby covering a range of 25 miles, where scooters would be quite good.'
However, Adams says he would have to evaluate the full costs of running an electric car before considering such a vehicle for the fleet. There are certain applications for the electric car, but I don't think there will be as much demand from users. We will consider it but at £10,000, we don't pay anything like that for a diesel car, so we would need to consider the wholelife costs. The problem is, if someone needs to follow an offender the battery would only run for 12 miles,' he added.
The electric vehicles were first shown at last month's National Association of Police Fleet Managers' conference in Swindon (Fleet NewsNet September 4).
Dorset Police is also trialling a Honda Civic IMA petrol/ electric hybrid and several liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) vehicles alongside running a diesel policy where it tries to use as many diesel vehicles as possible.
Adams added: 'We will always look at environmentally-friendly vehicles but when making a choice we need to consider that a lot of equipment is needed in the vehicles and they are used by a lot of drivers.'
Police fleets are under continued pressure to become more environmentally-friendly and reduce fuel costs.
Humberside Police announced earlier this year that it had slashed fuel costs by £100,000 a year as part of a commitment to a national green certificate scheme. The force achieved the savings by joining the Government-backed Motorvate scheme which stipulates that companies and organisations must cut carbon dioxide emissions by 12% over a three-year period, with 3% of this being through a reduction fleet mileage.