Electric 5-0: Portuguese police buy Nissan Leafs

Nissan Leaf police car front three-quarter viewCops have never had so many choices. With Ford, General Motors, and Chrysler rolling out new police cars, there is plenty of new metal available. Even Nissan is getting in on the act. The Japanese company will sell Nissan Leaf EVs to the Portuguese police.

Portugal’s PSP (Polícia de Segurança Pública) placed an order for eight of the electric hatchbacks. The Leafs will sport full police livery, and a full battery of lights and sirens.

Don’t expect a Leaf to end up on World’s Wildest Police Chases, though. The EVs’ limited range means they will primarily be used to patrol school zones, as part of PSP’s Safe School Program. However, in an emergency, cops will use any tool at their disposal: the Portuguese police said that, “They can be called upon to perform other police duties at any time.”

“We pride ourselves in being the first police force in the world to incorporate cars with zero-emission technology as part of our 5,000 vehicle fleet,” said Superintendent Paul Gomes Valente, PSP’s national director. PSP hopes to reduce its carbon footprint, and deploying electric cars is the first step in that effort.

With its 107 horsepower motor and 92 mph top speed, the Leaf won’t keep up with a Ford Police Interceptor, Dodge Charger Pursuit, or most perps, but it could still be useful. Police patrolling urban areas could cut emissions significantly, and since they spend a lot of time sitting still, they wouldn’t tax the battery’s range.Nissan Leaf police car rear three-quarter view

The Leaf may seem small compared to a Taurus, Charger, or Chevy Caprice, but it will fit right in with European police cars like the Opel Astra and Peugeot 207.

If the cops do need to get somewhere in a hurry, they will need to make sure that the Leaf is charged up. It takes several hours to charge the batteries after they run low.

Electric police cars may be in our future, but today’s Nissan Leaf may not be the ideal car for the job. Like all other EVs, its limited range and long charging times make spontaneous decisions, like pursuing a criminal or responding to a call, difficult.

For, now the PSP’s Leafs will show the public that the department is going green. Their purchase seems like more of a publicity stunt than a practical decision. Everything has to start somewhere: maybe this will be the first step toward a truly capable police EV.

Cars

Can electric motors finally make three-wheeled cars great?

Every few years, someone tries to sell a three-wheeled vehicle to Americans. Historically, it hasn’t gone very well. We’ve got our suspicions about why people don’t buy trikes, and they boil down to this: a trike is just not a real…
Cars

Ford’s Mustang-inspired electric crossover will spawn a Lincoln luxury version

Lincoln will get its own version of parent Ford's first mass-market, long-range electric vehicle. While Ford's version will have styling inspired by the Mustang, Lincoln will take a more traditional approach.
Mobile

Want more power, but faster? This new charging tech claims it can deliver

Chunky power bricks and slow charging could be a thing of the past with GaNFast technology from Navitas Semiconductors. By using an alternative to silicon, GaNFast reduces power consumption and boosts output.
News

Ford has a plan to future-proof the hot-selling F-150 pickup truck

Worried about the threat of rising gas prices, Ford will add the F-150 to its growing portfolio of electrified vehicles. It is currently developing a hybrid F-150, and it will release an electric version of the next-generation truck.
Outdoors

Is Uber planning to put its self-driving tech into bikes and scooters?

Uber reportedly has its eye on building autonomous electric bikes and scooters that ride to a user when summoned by an app. The technology could also be used to make its two-wheelers safer with obstacle avoidance systems.
Cars

Someone just paid supercar money for the very first 2020 Toyota Supra

The 2020 Toyota Supra made its long-awaited debut at the 2019 Detroit Auto Show. The resurrected sports car, famous for a role in The Fast and the Furious, goes on sale in the U.S. this summer.
Cars

Lincoln’s stately, limited-edition flagship sedan sells out in a month

The 1961 Lincoln Continental became a design icon thanks to center-opening "coach doors" (also known as "suicide doors"). Lincoln is bringing those doors back for a special edition of the 2019 Continental.
Cars

Volkswagen is planning a tougher challenge for its all-electric I.D. R

The Volkswagen I.D. R electric race car will head to the Nürburgring for a lap-record attempt. Volkswagen will reportedly aim to set the quickest lap time ever by an electric car with the I.D. R.
Home Theater

Report: Spotify preparing to launch $100 in-car streaming device

According to a report, people familiar with Spotify's plans say the company is readying a dedicated in-car music streamer that will cost $100. It will work with any Bluetooth-enabled audio system and can be controlled by voice.
Cars

Tesla given go-ahead to start deliveries of Model 3 to Europe

Tesla has been given the green light to start deliveries of its Model 3 electric sedan to Europe, giving it the chance to compete more effectively with the likes of BMW, Audi, and Mercedes-Benz in the region's premium car market.
Cars

Royal fans bid big money as Prince Philip ‘car crash parts’ hit eBay

A couple of days after a car crash that involved the 97-year-old husband of Queen Elizabeth II, debris apparently from the scene of the accident showed up on eBay. And people wanted to buy it.
Cars

If Batman became a race car driver, he’d hit the track in the Vuhl 05RR

Mexican sports car Vuhl revealed the hardcore 05RR, a roadster that blurs the line between a track car and a street-legal car. The 05RR stands out with a design that looks right out of a video game and a 385-horsepower engine.
Emerging Tech

Elon Musk offers to help dig CERN’s new particle collider tunnel

CERN plans to put the Large Hadron Collider to shame with its proposed much larger Future Circular Collider -- and Elon Musk wants to help. Because, you know, he's not busy enough.
Product Review

Cool tech and a great ride make the 2019 RAM 1500 the best light-duty pickup

The Ram isn’t the most powerful, spacious, or affordable of the light-duty, full-size pickup herd, but a modestly equipped version walks all over rivals in terms of ride quality, technology, and cabin comfort.