Finland's police is testing its first fully electric patrol car. The van has been put in operation by the Häme Police Department in Lahti on Wednesday 30 June.
The fully electric car with a van frame is a Mercedes Benz eVito which required some changes to adapt to police work, for example in the floor, inner walls and seats.
In Lahti, the eVito patrol car will be used by the control and emergency services.
According to Deputy Police Chief Tero Seppänen of the Häme Police, his department is particularly happy with the first fully electric patrol wagon.
"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," adds Seppänen.
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, police said in a statement.
Charging network not expanded
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.
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.