Portugal's police department is going green, the most recent government agency to incorporate electric vehicles into its fleet. The security force dedicated to patrolling large urban areas of the country, the PSP (Polícia de Segurança Pública) has received eight customized Nissan Leafs.
The Leafs will join the police department's fleet of more than 5,000 cars. The zero-emissions vehicles will be used primarily as part of the department's Safe School Program, but according to Nissan, the cars could be used to perform other police duties as well. Though with a top speed of 90 miles an hour and per-charge range of only 72 miles, it's hard to believe the hatchback could chase down much of anything.
Portugal's police department is not the first law enforcement agency to embrace electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles. New York City purchased 50 Chevrolet Volts last year, most of which were deployed for traffic enforcement.
But though they are eco-friendly, to be sure, most EVs are less powerful than traditional cars on the road. Until that changes, how much should law enforcement agencies rely on these cars for their day-to-day operations?