Police 'impressed' by electric car
It might not be the most impressive weapon in the fight against crime.
But it is hoped the PSNI's new electric car will be the most efficient.
The liveried plug-in Vauxhall Ampera is being tested by community police officers in North Down as part of the force's efforts to go green.
"The Vauxhall Ampera is part of a PSNI pilot scheme looking at the pros and cons of using electric vehicles. Similar vehicles have been requested from other manufacturers and following their assessment PSNI will consider whether to add the electric vehicle to the fleet," said Marcus Belshaw head of transport at the PSNI.
The four-seated Ampera has a hybrid engine consisting of electric batteries capable of about 60 miles from a full charge, supported by a 1.4 litre petrol engine which means it should not run out of power in the middle of a car chase.
It can be fitted with cutting-edge crime-fighting technology including external-mounted cameras for evidence gathering with an internal camera for facial recognition linked to the police databases. Its silent engine may also be a useful tool in catching burglars.
The eco-car is on loan to the PSNI for the next six weeks and officers say they intend to use it as part of their normal policing duties throughout North Down.
The Ampera, which is one of the fastest electric cars on the market, has a top speed of about 100 miles an hour. It does zero to 30 miles-per-hour in 3.1 seconds and takes nine seconds to hit 62mph.
"Officers routinely take it out on patrol and they tell me they are impressed by the quiet engine and the efficient running of the vehicle," said chief superintendent Yvonne Davidson who is based in North Down.
The use of electric cars is being looked at as a number of environmentally friendly options aimed at cutting the the PSNI's carbon footprint.