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Hybrid Scooters for the Police

Northamptonshire Police are going for hybrid technology in their latest first responder bikes, with a fleet of petrol/electric three-wheel scooters going into service in October. The tilting three-wheelers are based on the Yamaha Tricity 300, but modified by White Motorcycle Concepts (WMC) with the addition of an electric motor and two small batteries which power the scooter up to 30mph – over that speed, the Yamaha 292cc single takes over. The twin 572Wh batteries should give a range of 15-20 miles on electric power alone, but in practice the WMC300FR will use a combination of petrol and electric.

The hybrid kit obviously adds cost and complication, but the police are seeing it as a key means of reducing emissions in urban areas, where these bikes will spend most of their time. WMC claim significantly lower emissions compared to a standard Tricity 300 and urban fuel consumption of 104mpg, adding that it has paid a lot of attention to aerodynamics to make the scooter more efficient. And Northamptonshire Police won’t have to invest in new charging infrastructure either, as the batteries can be lifted out and charged at any three-pin socket.

Lem Freezer, Head of Transport and Logistics for both the police and fire services in Northamptonshire, said: “Like all emergency services, we need to meet national objectives to reduce carbon emissions and move away from petrol and diesel-powered transport by 2030. The technology behind the design of the WMC300FR reduces emissions by up to 50% compared with a comparable non-hybrid model.”

Jim Freeman, Chair of the BMF, added: “Great to see that the Northamptonshire Police are looking ahead in this way, the whole bike sounds as though it could appeal to a much wider market, especially the removable battery idea, that requires no special plugin concessions, not to mention the 100 mpg urban, which has to be green on its own, compared to non EV patrol cars. Is this the 2020s equivalent of an LE Velocette? ”

Significantly, WMC developed the bike in conjunction with Northamptonshire Police and Chief Constable Nick Adderley, the Motorcycle Lead for UK police – the involvement of this national police figure suggests we could see the hybrid in use by other police forces in the future.

Written by Peter Henshaw

Images courtesy of BBC News