Luxembourg police deploy Tesla cars to help nab criminals

LUXEMBOURG (Reuters) - Police in Luxembourg have added two Tesla electric cars to their fleet, hoping that their rapid acceleration capacity will help them nab more criminals and speed offenders while also trimming the tiny country’s carbon emissions.

The purchase of the two Tesla Model S cars - which can accelerate from 0 to 60 miles per hour (97 kmph) in seconds - is part of a pilot project to move some 10 percent of the cars on Luxembourg’s roads towards electric and hybrid vehicles, the Grand Duchy’s transport minister said.

“Police cannot use a 2CV on the motorway, they need a car that can move fast,” Francois Bausch told state broadcaster RTL.

One of the key concerns surrounding electric vehicles - the need to regularly recharge their batteries - is less of a problem in Luxembourg, which measures only some 100 km (60 miles) from north to south, police said.

“Our patrols are 200 kilometers per outing. We can easily see that the battery life as it is does not pose any problems,” said Laurent Lentz, deputy commander of Luxembourg’s highway police.

But Lentz said it was too early to say whether Luxembourg would buy more Tesla cars. Local media said the police had paid some 100,000 euros ($116,450) for each car due to special police requirements. Police declined to confirm the figure.

Luxembourg Environment Minister Carole Dieschbourg said the transport sector accounts for about two thirds of the country’s CO2 emissions.

“I think it is of utmost importance to show leadership in order to have legislation and strategies that will make us able to reach our Paris target,” she said.

Luxembourg is one of nearly 200 nations to have signed the 2015 Paris Climate Agreement, which aims to limit a rise in global temperatures to below two degrees Celsius above pre-industrial times.

Reporting by Christopher Stern, Clement Rossignol and Natalie Rice, writing by Megan Dollar, editing by Robert-Jan Bartunek and Gareth Jones