Monday, June 10, 2013
Police in the West Midlands have just received a delivery of 30 Nissan Leaf electric cars to add to their fleet. The cars will be used in 10 local units, with each unit getting access to three of the vehicles.
This represents the largest UK corporate order of the Nissan Leaf to date, and the police have confirmed that the cars will be used to drive to local victims of crime and to attend various meetings. Nissan was clearly pleased to have such a prestigious customer, and confirmed that more fleet owners are starting to realise the benefits of electric vehicles.
Why the Nissan Leaf?
The news about the order of the 30 Nissan Leaf cars suggests that electric vehicles may finally be starting to catch on across the UK. One of the major benefits of electric vehicles, and one that almost certainly influenced the police, is the cheaper cost involved in running them. The police will be able to completely recharge the cars for just £1.75, making significant savings for the force and for the taxpayer.
One of the potential problems of using electric vehicles is the lack of charging stations. However, the police will get around this by installing charging points at each of the units where the cars will be used. This will make it easy to charge the cars and they won't have any problems searching for charging points.
As the cars have a range of 124 miles, they are also ideal for the short distances that the police will use them for. Indeed, the cars are expected to drive between 40 to 45 miles each day, which is well within the range of the vehicle.
Then there are other benefits as well, including the fact that the cars do not produce any emissions, which can help the police to boost their eco credentials. And to top it off, it has been reported that many of the police offices involved in the trials liked the appearance of the Leaf.
Nissan Leaf Wins Safety Award
One of the other factors that may have played some part in the decision to go with the Leaf is that it is known for its high standards of safety. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) recently awarded the Leaf a Top Safety Pick in 2013. It received the same award in 2011 and 2012, but it was tested again in this year because a number of changes have been made to the 2013 model.
Amongst the features that make it such a safe ride include an advanced airbag system (AABS) with seatbelt sensors, side-impact airbags and a LATCH system for children. The latest version of the Leaf also comes with quicker charging, an increased range and a more roomy interior amongst the over 100 changes that have been made in all.
Could It Lead to More Nissan Leafs on the Streets?
Nissan will surely be hoping that the recent award coupled with the headline-grabbing order from West Midlands Police will boost the appeal of electric vehicles like the Leaf on the road. However, one of the key problems is that there are still not enough charging points available. Once more charging points appear and owners can charge their cars wherever they are, it is almost certain that electric cars such as the Nissan Leaf will really start to make an impact across the UK.
Joel Freedman is an automotive enthusiast and researcher. He enjoys sharing his insights on various automotive blogs. To learn more visit The Car Buying Service website.