• July 6, 2021

  • Abby Nuttall

We seem to be writing about electric vehicles (EVs) more and more often lately as they become more mainstream, but we had to share three exciting developments that we’ve seen in the public sector over the last couple of weeks.

The first is the police adding Tesla’s to their fleet, the second is a major investment by Royal Mail in their electric fleet, and the third is an announcement from London’s mayor on H2 double deckers.

Police Force Trial Tesla

Ever since their inception in 2003 Tesla has been a brand at the forefront of electric vehicle (EV) with the longest ranges on the market, innovative touchscreen controls and much more.

Over the past few years, the company has been working to make their models more affordable without compromising on the quality and long distance ranges they offer.

Their latest endeavour is Tesla emergency vehicles, and they’ve moved a step closer to achieving this with the announcement that they have completed their first emergency services specification Model 3.

Tesla UK have revealed a police-liveried Model 3 that is ready for use by the UK Police force, and they’ve said will be available for emergency services across the UK to trial and assess.

Industry supplier Halls Electrical Ltd completed the adaptations and livery to make the vehicle function and look like other police vehicles.

With a range of up to 360 miles, zero emissions, ability to achieve high speeds in little time, all-wheel-drive options, and a five star Euro NCAP safety rating the Model 3 is the perfect emergency vehicle for the future.

Tesla have said that the car will be trialled by police, fire brigades and medical rapid response units in a variety of roles across the UK to provide a range of feedback from across the emergency services.

Though this is the first Tesla to be used by UK forces it’s not the first EV to be deployed by police, as the Metropolitan Police have a fleet of BMW i3s and 11 hydrogen fuel-cell Toyota Mirais in London.

Royal Mail Go Green

Royal Mail are known across the UK for their bright red vans, but the public postal service have recently committed to making their fleet greener by adding an extra 3,000 electric vehicles to their number.

With procurement due to begin later in the year in October according to Commercial Fleets, this would increase their electric vehicles by tenfold to around 3,300.

Royal Mail have not specified a van brand or a timetable for the introduction of these new EVs but it is thought that they will begin by introducing them in low-emission zones and green cities, where their current combustion engines will be the most costly to run.

They will also be installing charging stations at the delivery offices where the EVs are to be stationed to prevent issues with vehicles running out of charge or being too low on charge to complete their intended round.

Currently, Royal Mail has Peugeot and Mercedes vans and it’s expected that they might opt for these brands again with their latest investment.

London to Debut England’s First H2 Double-Decker Buses

Though this isn’t strictly EV news, hydrogen powered vehicles are just as exciting and environmentally friendly.

Hydrogen is free from harmful emissions when it’s used in a fuel cell and the only by-product is water that’s produced from the chemical reaction of hydrogen and oxygen in the air which is what the vehicle uses to power the engine.

London’s Mayor Sadiq Khan has launched England’s first ever hydrogen double-deckers, with 20 new vehicles joining the 500 electric buses that form the core zero-emission vehicles in London’s fleet.

This is the latest part of the move to clean up London’s public transport network and improve inner-city air quality.

The 20 new buses are first being introduced on Route 7 between East Acton and Oxford Circus, and will provide passengers with a smoother, quieter journey because of the reduced vehicle vibrations and noise as well as free to use USB charger points.

Alongside the new buses, as part of the Mayor’s green transport investment, there will be a new state of the art fuelling station that will top up each bus each day in as little as five minutes. The fuelling station was completed by Danish engineering firm Nel Hydrogen and will use hydrogen produced at Air Liquide’s plant in Runcorn that harnesses waste hydrogen from an industrial Chlor-alkali plant and is transported by Oxford-based Ryze Hydrogen.

TfL’s use of hydrogen and their use of hydrogen powered buses paves the way for other cities and towns across the UK to use this alternative fuel source too.

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