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Portugal commissions world's first Nissan Leaf police fleet

By

July 13, 2012

Portugal now has a fleet of eight Leaf police cars

Portugal now has a fleet of eight Leaf police cars

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Portugal's Polícia de Segurança Pública (that'll be PSP from here on out) has put the world's first Nissan Leaf police car fleet on the streets. The eight-car fleet will help PSP in its goal to reduce its carbon footprint.

"We pride ourselves in being the first police force in the world to incorporate cars with zero-emission technology as part of our 5,000 vehicle fleet," Superintendent Paul Gomes Valente, National Director of PSP, said in a statement. "We want to continue contributing to the reduction in pollution in large urban centers and the introduction of the 100-percent electric Nissan LEAF sets a new benchmark for our fleet."

While entities of all kinds are interested in cutting their environmental impact (or at least enjoying the cost savings of doing so), the Nissan Leaf seems like an odd choice for a police vehicle. Criminals on the run need only hit speeds of more than 90 mph (145 km/h) or distances of around 100 miles (161 km), and they'd be free.

That's probably why the PSP, which itself is focused on patrolling urban environments, will concentrate the use of the new Leafs in its Safe School Program. We're not sure of the scope of that program, but we're envisioning the Leaf driving a couple blocks to the local school, sitting parked for most of the day, and maybe making short-distance patrols around school grounds.

Nissan's press release does mention that the cars have flashing lights, sirens and clear Polícia markings, so they can be called on for any other task - assuming they have enough charge to get there. Surely, an officer in the Leaf would radio for back-up at the first sign of a pursuit, so the Leaf's lack of driving range shouldn't hamper police work in practice. As Nissan points out, the Leaf's quiet electric motor could even provide the benefit of catching criminals off guard (though the piercing siren might give it away).

Source: Nissan

About the Author
C.C. Weiss Upon graduating college with a poli sci degree, Chris toiled in the political world for several years. Realizing he was better off making cynical comments from afar than actually getting involved in all that mess, he turned away from matters of government and news to cover the things that really matter: outdoor recreation, cool cars, technology, wild gadgets and all forms of other toys. He's happily following the wisdom of his father who told him that if you find something you love to do, it won't really be work.   All articles by C.C. Weiss
9 Comments

Wow, 8 cars at nearly 40k in U.S. dollars for each vehicle. It'll be driven 2 blocks per day to sit outside school playgrounds. Remind me again. Why Portugal is on the brink of bankruptcy?

kar
13th July, 2012 @ 06:37 pm PDT

LOL ... "Pull over this is the police..... pull over now we only have 3 more miles of range... please pull over... pretty please"

Michael Mantion
13th July, 2012 @ 07:20 pm PDT

The Safe School Program is exactly that. A couple of officers regulating traffic and patrolling around school. The car is parked the vast majority of time and, until now, the program had it's own fleet of Opel Corsas.

Facebook User
14th July, 2012 @ 02:30 am PDT

Portugal is a small Country, with towns with convoluted streets, and so, it's a lot harder to hit 90 mph...

Edgar Castelo
14th July, 2012 @ 07:44 am PDT

As a Portuguese I got this news with great pleasure :)

Fábio Dias
14th July, 2012 @ 03:46 pm PDT

Excellent idea, it is important that public services should show an example to the general population.

I cannot understand some of the idiotic comments from people who clearly did not stop to think before

displaying their ignorance in public! In most cities around the world speed is not an issue, neither is range

but of course pollution usually is - this is precisely why electric vehicles have always been useful in city

environments, indeed more effort needs to be put into doing so.

We should all be impressed that Portugal is taking a lead here and hope that other countries may follow!

professore
16th July, 2012 @ 04:19 am PDT

Portugal's Polícia de Segurança Pública bought some very expensive limited utility cars. How long would it take to kill the batteries only using the radios and radar gun?

Some people actually think this is a good Idea.

Slowburn
16th July, 2012 @ 10:23 am PDT

Well..

I would agree with "professore".. AND "Kar" ..

Its an awesome measure.. in deed..

We .. Portuguese have a tendency to be courageous, when it comes to putting forward new ideas..

courageous AND .. reckless .. cos .. Have you guys checked the 'price tag' on these cars??!!

Simple evidence of WHY our economy is NOT sustainable ..

K_Dua
16th July, 2012 @ 11:28 am PDT

Well, having plug-in electrical cars is just a plain logic option once you factor in that:

- Portugal produces more than half of its electrical energy from renewable sources (52 % in 2010 and has certainly increased, see Wikipedia).

- Most of the total cost of ownership of police and other utility vehicles, here, in Portugal is fuel.

- These cars are to be covering urban areas, at really low speeds. That increases fuel costs substantially per kilometer.

- Portugal already has some (and is about to have more) urban areas where there are restrictions to pollutant vehicles. It's true that there are exceptions in place for police and emergency vehicles, but the example is worthwhile.

Besides, overall they are a cheap way to promote the use of fully electric vehicles (cheap when compared to TV adverts and to increasing the tax cuts).

And, last but not least, we are not exactly in the brink of bankruptcy... We export more than we import, and the exports are growing. Perhaps kar and others should check their sources, according to the IMF (see Wikipedia), in 2011, Portuguese public debt was just very slightly above the federal US debt, when considering public debt as a percentage of the country's GDP. When I said federal, it was not including all the individual US states debts, which would only add to that figure. Is anybody intending to say that the US is _past_ the brink of bankruptcy? And then why is the US with a AA+ rating against a BB rating for Portugal, or a BBB for Brazil (a double-digit growing economy with lots of natural resources)? Has that anything to do with the rating agencies being US-based?

Gustavo Rocha
19th July, 2012 @ 07:30 am PDT
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