First fully electric Police patrol car
The Police has put its first fully electric patrol car in operation, with the van taken over by the Häme Police Department in Lahti on Wednesday 30 June 2021.
According to National Police Commissioner Seppo Kolehmainen, the Police will play its part and contribute to Finland’s progress into a financially and ecologically sustainable society.
- We are now gathering experience on the suitability of this type of vehicle for the Police control and emergency functions. The National Police Board made the vehicle available for the Häme Police Department patrolling operations. This is also a way for the Police to show a strong support for Lahti’s European Environmental Capital 2021 theme, Police Commissioner Kolehmainen pointed out in the ceremony to assign the new vehicle to the Police Department.
The fully electric car with a van frame is a Mercedes Benz eVito.
- The vehicle structure is largely that of the serially produced Vito but the Police pilot car required some changes, for example, in the floor, inner walls and seats, made in collaboration with the car importer, Head of Materials Management Jussi Kiiski of the National Police Board comments on the new acquisition.
Used in preventive operations
According to Deputy Police Chief Tero Seppänen of the Häme Police, the Department is particularly happy with the first fully electric patrol wagon. It is an outstanding choice for the environmental capital Lahti, he adds.
In Lahti, the eVito patrol car will be used by the control and emergency services.
- During the try-out period, the van is used preventive operations, in very versatile functions. This will help us to gain valuable experience on the suitability of an electric car both in control of public events and in emergencies. Each police officer driving the van will have a specific training, he adds.
More electric cars procured along with expansion of charging network
Should the user experience on the pilot vehicle be positive and the features of the chargeable patrol car be sufficient to cover the Police functions in full, the fully electric patrol vans will continue to account for a larger share of the fleet, within the limits of the charging network.
The Police objective is to have over 700 charging stations in place by the year 2025. Last year, a particular funding allocation allowed the construction of 174 stations while this year, no such allocation was available and the charging network could not be expanded as planned.
Police fleet of 1500 cars
All in all, the Police avails of about 1500 cars, with slightly over 170 vehicles running on fuels other than petrol or diesel. During the years 2020 and 2021, the Police has increasingly procured both hybrids and fully electric cars, for example, civilian cars for general use.