Police in Somerset racking up miles in electric vehicles

CRIMINALS in Somerset might not hear the police as they arrive – as the force expands its fleet of electric vehicles.

Avon & Somerset Police is on a “journey towards a zero-emission fleet of vehicles”, an effort that has been recognised as leading the way in the sector.

The recognition stems from the 2024 Electric Fleet Race, run by Rightcharge, a monthly insight into organisations who have shown real commitment to delivering a Battery Electric Vehicle (BEV) fleet.

Avon & Somerset Police has 49 electric vehicles, used as neighbourhood cars, forensics vans and general-purpose vehicles.

Those vehicles have now passed the 500,000-mile mark for the fleet as a whole.

“We estimate we’ll have between 60 to 80 vehicles by the end of this financial year, including fully electric cell vans,” a spokesperson said.

“This is all on top of our current fleet of 139 electric bikes, primarily used by our Neighbourhood Policing teams, and our two plug-in motorcycles, which are being piloted in Bridgwater and Fishponds.”

The Cheddar Neighbourhood Policing team with a hybrid motorcycle. Picture: Avon & Somerset Police

The Cheddar Neighbourhood Policing team with a hybrid motorcycle. Picture: Avon & Somerset Police

Ben Mohide, delivery manager in transport services, said: “We’re continuing to make great strides towards our ambition to achieve a zero-emissions fleet as soon as possible.

“The ambition poses significant challenges, particularly around infrastructure, but we’re working with other police forces, as well as locally with electricity distribution network operators to provide the infrastructure and plans we need to achieve this.

“A dedicated project team will be coming together to look at the options around on-site generation of green energy, for example.

“It’s good to be recognised nationally and we know we have a lot of work to do, but we’re pleased with the progress we’ve made so far, especially with the introduction of more electric vehicles on the horizon.”

The Avon & Somerset Police electric fleet:

  • 15 charger locations across the Avon and Somerset Police estate, with 44 outlets.
  • The CID team in Bridgwater has covered more than 50,000-miles with their electric vehicles in just under two years.
  • The Neighbourhood Policing team in Shepton Mallet and Broadbury have both exceeded 20,000 miles in two years, across two vehicles.
  • South West Forensics have managed nearly 25,000-miles in their first year with electric vehicles.

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I am the editor in chief of Blackmore Vale media, which includes the New Blackmore Vale, New Stour & Avon, Salisbury & Avon Gazette and the Purbeck Gazette, having been a reporter for some 20 years. In my spare time, I am a festival lover, with a particular focus on Glastonbury. I live in Somerset with my wife and two children.