15.2.2012 Police show interest in Vauxhall Ampera
Vauxhall's are a particularly popular choice for police cars in the UK – it appears that this is likely to continue, with police interest in the range-extended electric Ampera.
Vauxhall has won a competition run by the Association of Chief Police Officers Intelligent Transport Systems (ACPO ITS) by demonstrating that the Ampera can be fitted with cutting-edge crime-fighting technology and could be introduced into active Police service by 2015.
The Ampera was dressed in full police livery and kitted out with a range of high-tech kit, including four external-mounted cameras for evidence gathering with an internal camera for facial recognition linked to the Police National Database.
In addition, the standard Ampera display screen was modified to provide all information currently available to Police officers, for example Automatic Number Plate Recognition, and a second screen was mounted on the passenger sun visor to allow the passenger to access all Police information. New police software was loaded, with previous incidents and historic data that is run through complex algorithms to predict potential crime hotspots.
The Police force feel that electric cars and hybrid cars have a place in their vehicle fleets in the near future, and with more and more models coming to market, electric police cars are likely to be on the roads over the next few years.
The plug-in Ampera has a 148 bhp powertrain that permits 0 to 60 mph in 9 seconds, with a top speed restricted to 100 mph – clearly not yet suitable for certain policing requirements but more than adequate for many day to day patrolling jobs.
Dick Ellam, Vauxhall Special Vehicles Manager said, "We are delighted to have won the ACPO ITS competition and are excited to have displayed the fittingly ground-breaking Ampera featuring this array of cutting-edge equipment."
On the shortlist for World Car of the Year and European Car of the Year, the Ampera is now available to order for £32,250, including the £5,000 Government Plug-in Car Grant – a cheaper version with slightly lower spec will be launched later in the year (see Ampera price range here).
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