Fleet of 11 Toyota Mirai police cars to enter service with the Met

The Metropolitan Police is to run 11 Toyota Mirais, creating the world’s largest fleet of hydrogen fuel-cell electric police vehicles.

The first in a fleet of 11 Toyota Mirai police cars has been delivered to London’s Met police as the force begins the roll out of the world’s biggest fleet of hydrogen-fuelled police vehicles. The Mirai fuel-cell cars have been co-funded by the European Union’s joint programme with FCHJU (Fuel-Cells and Hydrogen 2 Joint Undertaking) and will be used across the city.

Toyota is best known as a pioneer of hybrid powertrains, but it also launched the world’s first hydrogen fuel-cell production car in the shape of the Toyota Mirai back in 2015. The vehicle's fuel-cell powertrain mixes oxygen in the air with hydrogen from a tank to generate electricity. This, in turn, powers a motor connected to the front wheels. According to Toyota, the Mirai police cars will cost around half the price a conventional diesel squad car to run, and can theoretically cover more than 300 miles on a single tank.

• New Toyota Mirai 2016 review

In purchasing the fleet of Mirais, the Met says it is supporting the Mayor of London’s clean air strategy as the only tailpipe emissions that the Toyota Mirais produce is water. This move comes as the emergency services in London are pushing towards their target of the capital becoming a zero-carbon city by 2050.

Mark Roden, Director of Operations for Toyota GB, said: “We are delighted that the Met Police has added Mirai vehicles to its fleet.  The distinctive livery of the Met’s marked cars means even more public visibility for hydrogen-powered cars in and around London.  This is proof that organisations are seeing the future of hydrogen power for zero-emission fleets.”

One potential issue with the Mirai fleet is that the Met will have access to only five hydrogen filling stations across the capital. This is set to increase in the coming years, but demand for hydrogen filling stations is minimal, so at least the boys in blue won’t have to queue. Shell opened its first hydrogen refueling station just last year.

Met Commander Neil Jerome said that the Toyota Mirais  “are our first entirely zero-emission response vehicles and this is an exciting development for us". He added: "The Met is committed, alongside the mayor, to making the service as environmentally friendly as possible and a big part of that work is ensuring our fleet is green. Since late 2015 we have been actively looking at ways to hybridise and electrify our fleet, as well as exploring other new technologies, such as hydrogen.”

• Police cars: the world's best and worst

The new fleet of Toyta Mirais will be equipped for the Met to use as marked and unmarked police cars. The electric motor is strong and despite the car’s heavy weight, it should be quick enough. It’s 0-60mph acceleration time is 9.6 seconds and the Mirai and the top speed is 111mph. It also boasts safety features such as a pre-collision system, city auto braking, lane departure alert and a blind spot monitor.

Read more on the Toyota Mirai here...

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