After a rigorous testing and evaluation process, New Zealand Police has selected the Škoda Superb as the new frontline Police car.
The more environmentally friendly Škoda will become Police’s primary response vehicle, with the first cars expected on roads and in communities as early as April next year.
After General Motors announced it was pulling Holden out of the Australasian market, Police went to tender for a new preferred supplier.
“With more than 2000 primary response vehicles currently in action, selecting a new supplier provides an important opportunity to reduce carbon emissions and ensure value for money across our fleet,” says Commissioner Coster.
Throughout the tender process, two Škoda Superb models stood out as ideal primary response vehicles.
“Frontline staff said they handled well and they felt confident and safe driving the vehicle,” he says. “They liked the large doors with a wide opening range, easy-to-read instruments, front and rear visibility, and the spaciousness of the rear passenger area.”
Police will be using station wagons as they offer greater flexibility for deployment and were the preferred body type by staff.
The 162KW 2WD and the 206KW 4×4 Superbs will be deployed according to operational requirements. “As well as the Superbs standing out in our evaluation process, Škoda is repeatedly chosen for use as police and emergency services vehicles throughout Europe.
It is used in more than 30 jurisdictions, including Austria, France, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom,” says Commissioner Coster. “More importantly, these new vehicles will deliver significant reductions in our fleet’s carbon footprint.”
The average CO2 emissions for all fleet vehicles in New Zealand is 180.7 grams per kilometre, while the Superbs sit on the greener side at 162 for the 162KW model and 176 for the 206KW.
“When compared to our current fleet, C02 emissions per kilometre could be reduced by up to 38.6 per cent per vehicle, depending on what is being replaced,” he says.
Electric and hybrid vehicles were tested, but limitations including power efficiency and the total cost of ownership meant they were not the preferred option. “While incredibly promising, electric and hybrid technology are not yet a viable option for our patrol vehicles,” says Commissioner Coster.
“However, we are committed to reducing our carbon emissions and have outlined a ten-year plan to an emissions-free fleet.” Prime 1 Patrol Vehicles in the existing fleet will be replaced when they have reached the end of their useful life, at a rate of around 400 per year. Police is expecting to deploy the first lot of Škodas in April 2021.
The new-look Police cars will be revealed early next year.