Skip advert
Advertisement

Electric police cars in the UK: exclusive survey plots forces’ EV uptake

Some constabularies have embraced electric vehicles, while other haven’t any on their fleets

Nissan EV police vehicles

Police forces in the UK have more than 430 electric vehicles on their fleets and in excess of 808 chargers. These numbers are not evenly spread among forces, however, with some constabularies having adopted large numbers of EVs and others none at all.

Auto Express sent freedom of information requests to the UK’s 45 police forces and received 34 responses, revealing how EV-friendly the majority of constabularies are. Some forces refused to provide the information we asked for, while others had not responded by the time we went to print.

Unsurprisingly, the Metropolitan Police Service – which is the UK’s largest police force – had the greatest number of EVs. The Met told us it runs 99 fully electric vehicles, including 50 Nissan e-NV200 electric vans, 41 Nissan Leaf hatchbacks and eight BMW K17 C Evolution motorcycles. The force also operates a number of BMW i3 patrol cars, but these were not included in the Met’s response because they are range-extender models that have petrol engines fitted.

Advertisement - Article continues below

The Met also has the highest number of chargers, 264 of them spread across 33 police stations. The force told us it mainly tops up its EV fleet at its own chargers, but occasionally uses public chargers, too.

Skip advert
Advertisement
Skip advert
Advertisement - Article continues below

Another force with a large number of electric vehicles is Gloucestershire Constabulary, which has 83, including 72 Nissan Leafs, nine Nissan e-NV200s and two Tesla Model 3s. It has 59 chargers across 17 locations and its policy is to only use these and never public chargers.

Of the 33 forces who answered our request, seven told us they have no EVs whatsoever: Cambridgeshire, City of London, Durham, Lancashire, Northern Ireland, Staffordshire and Warwickshire.

Among the 26 forces that do run EVs, the Nissan Leaf proves to be the most popular, with 117 of these in operation. The BMW i3, Nissan e-NV200 and Vauxhall Corsa-e are also highly popular choices, with 87, 71 and 60 of these vehicles featuring in police fleets respectively.

Most of the EVs used by police forces are cars, but we were told about a number of vans and motorcycles as well.

One constabulary that refused to respond to our request was Police Scotland, which claimed it would be against the public interest to tell us how many EVs the force operated, and claimed not to hold the other information we asked for.

Advertisement - Article continues below

It did, however, answer a similar request from the Scottish Liberal Democrats back in August, from which it emerged that Police Scotland had spent around £20million on buying a fleet of electric cars, but had failed to install the necessary infrastructure to charge them. This led to the cars being left to charge overnight in public car parks.

Most popular police EVs

1.Nissan Leaf
2.BMW i3
3.Nissan e-NV200
4.Vauxhall Corsa-e
5.Renault Zoe
6.Peugeot e-208
7.BMW K17 C Evolution
8.Peugeot e-Expert
=9.Hyundai Kona Electric
=9.SEAT Mii
=9.Vauxhall Vivaro-e

How many EVs and chargepoints does your force have?

Police forceNumber of EvsNumber of chargepoints
Avon and Somerset Constabulary2110
Bedfordshire Police10
Cambridgeshire Constabulary00
Cheshire Constabulary512
City of London Police00
Cleveland Police14
Cumbria Constabulary**
Derbyshire Constabulary21
Devon and Cornwall Constabulary46
Dorset Police**
Durham Constabulary00
Dyfed-Powys Police1112
Essex Police88
Gloucestershire Constabulary8359
Greater Manchester Police**
Gwent Police625
Hampshire Constabulary1562
Hertfordshire Constabulary310
Humberside Police**
Kent Police219
Lancashire Constabulary00
Leicestershire Constabulary**
Lincolnshire Police2129
Merseyside Police864
Metropolitan Police Service99264
Norfolk and Suffolk1220
North Wales Police1219
North Yorkshire Police16
Northamptonshire Police**
Northumbria Police**
Nottinghamshire Police**
Police Scotland**
Police Service of Northern Ireland00
South Wales Police311
South Yorkshire Police1124
Staffordshire Police00
Surrey Police3242
Sussex Police**
Thames Valley Police**
Warwickshire Police00
West Mercia Police1611
West Midlands Police4152
West Yorkshire Police26
Wiltshire Police1032
Total430808
*Did not respond  

Click here for our list of the best electric cars on sale in the UK...

Skip advert
Advertisement
Skip advert
Advertisement

Recommended

Driving test wait times up another 20% as DVSA plan is failing
Learner
News

Driving test wait times up another 20% as DVSA plan is failing

The promise that DVSA is ‘taking all measures it can to reduce waiting times’ rings hollow as waits increase by 20 per cent
17 Jun 2024
Labour to restore 2030 ICE ban, but fuel duty hike on the cards
Labour party logo
News

Labour to restore 2030 ICE ban, but fuel duty hike on the cards

The Labour Party’s manifesto promises support for the EV manufacturing industry and used electric car buyers, as well as an investigation into high in…
13 Jun 2024
EU threatens Chinese electric car tariffs of almost 50 per cent
XPeng G6 - front cornering
News

EU threatens Chinese electric car tariffs of almost 50 per cent

New tariffs would be imposed on top of pre-existing duties in an aim to override “unfair” subsidies by the Chinese government
12 Jun 2024
Labour to fix one million potholes per year under new ‘Plan for Drivers’
Pothole
News

Labour to fix one million potholes per year under new ‘Plan for Drivers’

Labour’s bid for the motorists’ vote includes funding for potholes, an investigation into unfair car insurance practices and a reform for road buildin…
12 Jun 2024

Most Popular

No more EV! New BMW X3 gets petrol, diesel and PHEV power only
BMW X3 - front
News

No more EV! New BMW X3 gets petrol, diesel and PHEV power only

The all-new premium BMW X3 SUV has a sharp new look and cutting-edge tech, but no iX3 EV this time around
18 Jun 2024
Ford Explorer review
Ford Explorer 2024 - front
In-depth reviews

Ford Explorer review

Ford’s long-awaited electric SUV drives well, has some neat touches and impresses for efficiency
18 Jun 2024
New Citroen C3 Aircross gets seven-seats to fight Dacia Jogger, plus £25k pure-electric version
Citroen C3 Aircross reveal - front
News

New Citroen C3 Aircross gets seven-seats to fight Dacia Jogger, plus £25k pure-electric version

Citroen has somehow managed to cram seven seats into its new compact SUV, although the pure-electric e-C3 Aircross is only available with five
19 Jun 2024