The Metropolitan Police Service is on track to meet its goal of having 550 ultra-low emission vehicles by 2020, with just under 200 vehicles now on the streets of the capital.
Throughout the year, work has been ongoing to prepare for the new Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ) which comes into place next April, meaning that cars and vans must meet tighter exhaust emissions standards.
At the end of 2018, the Met had only a handful of ultra-low emission vehicles, the majority of which were being used in trials or as demonstrations.
Just twelve months later, there are around 200 in use, made up of fully electric, hybrid and hydrogen vehicles, with 55 per cent of the fleet currently based in the incoming ULEZ now compliant.
The vehicles are being used for a variety of operational activities ranging from general purpose and forensics to response team policing and Specialist Protection and this week saw Peckham become the first area to receive the Met’s first marked hybrid advanced area car, replacing their diesel model.
As well as playing an important part in making the capital greener, the transformation of the fleet is also helping officers in the fight against crime.
Sergeant Richard Hollidge, from the Met’s fleet services, said: “Some of our newer vehicles can be particularly suitable for tackling certain types of crime. For example, our i3 BMWs are small and agile enough to negotiate heavy traffic and challenging back streets, giving us the right performance for inner city moped-enabled criminals.
“We are in a unique position that our vehicles are used 24/7, seven days a week, so we need to make sure they are completely fit for purpose while complying with environmental targets set by local and national government.
“This year we have made significant progress and a huge part of this is ensuring officers know what these new vehicles can do for them and that actually, they can make their day-to-day lives easier."
To help support the ultra-low emission fleet, work has also been ongoing to create an established infrastructure of charging points across the estate to ensure that the Met’s ultra-low emission vehicles can be used to their full potential.
By the beginning of 2019, around 200 charging points will be in place across at least 20 locations, with more to be installed as the year progresses.