|Civic Hybrid in Met Police livery.|
The London (UK) Metropolitan Police have ordered 117 Honda Civic Hybrids—the largest yet fleet deal for hybrid cars in the UK. The Metropolitan Police will use the hybrids for its Community Support Officer to use as part of a Safer Neighborhoods program.
Officers will use the cars to travel from their operational bases to the start of their foot patrols. The cars will not be used for patrol vehicles, which, for the Met Police, are primarily performance diesels (55-60% of the 6,000-6,500 vehicles in the fleet).
[The hybrids will help] meet police requirements and at the same time fulfil social responsibility to try and make our fleet of vehicles as green as possible. The police, like many other like-minded people, want to do their bit.
It’s now widely acknowledged that hybrids provide the middle stepping stone to hydrogen fuel cell cars—our long term goal. Hybrid technology utilizes a vehicle that performs in the same way as a conventional car but has the advantage of a reduced emissions footprint.—Stuart Middleton, Director of Transport Services at the Met Police
The Met tried electric and LPG vehicles in the past but halted the initiatives due to a combination of impracticality, reduction in funding and OEMs stopping factory production. The Met currently recognizes hybrid technology as the most viable stepping stone in the medium term but remain open to explore alternatives.
The Greater London Authority is planning to introduce 70 hydrogen-powered vehicles in London by 2010 (earlier post), and the Met plans to be running four of them.
The Toyota Lexus Rx 400h is undergoing trials in the UK for full police operational duty—i.e., including patrol and emergency response. (Earlier post.)