The Press sniggered, macho policemen shuddered. On trial by the West Yorkshire police was an electric three-wheeler meant for pedestrian areas of Leeds city centre. The Zev, a one-man vehicle, can go from 0-30 in 13 seconds. Top speed is 39 mph. It does look more like a milk float than a cop car. Hence the PC's shudders. But it all provided the makers, Ransome's, with a welcome publicity diversion.
The UK grass machinery manufacturers owns Cushman Inc, makers of this apparently eccentric vehicle. Christopher Macgowan, sales and marketing director of the commercial division, says despite 'being put on the wrong end of a few jokes' by the Press, Ransome's received 60 serious enquiries from other police forces and security companies about the £13,000 'people mover'. More hygienic than a horse, too. Will interest in the Zev offset Ransome's considerable problems in its main concern, lawnmowers? 'Never,' says Macgowan. 'Ransome's will always be a grass-mowing business.' Not all the Press appear to agree.