The local constabulary might have only just revealed its new Skoda Superb police car, but both it and the Czech car maker’s local arm appear to already have an eye on a greener future.
In today’s announcement, the New Zealand Police confirmed that they’re already in discussions with Skoda New Zealand over the introduction of lower-emission vehicles — most likely in the form of plug-in hybrids or full EVs.
The police confirmed that in 10 years time it wants to be carbon neutral, underlining that the new ‘Prime One’ Superb is a step in the right direction. It’s estimated that the full roll-out of new Superbs could take up to four years.
“Compared to our current fleet, the 162KW will decrease CO2 emissions from 180.7 grams per kilometre to 162, while the 206KW model will reduce emissions to about 176 grams per kilometre,” said Commissioner of Police Andrew Coster.
“We’re committed to reducing our carbon emissions even further and, as part of our ten-year plan to achieve an emissions-free fleet, we’ve begun discussions with Skoda around what opportunities there may be in the future.
“While not currently a viable option for our fleet, hybrid technology continues to develop and open up further opportunities.”
It’s understood that the most likely electrified model to join the police fleet is the plug-in hybrid Superb. Although it isn’t on sale in New Zealand just yet, but Skoda New Zealand general manager Rodney Gillard told NZ Autocar late last year that the model’s local introduction “is a case of if, not when”.
Skoda’s upcoming fully electric Enyaq iV [pictured in lead] could also be an option. The striking EV has already been confirmed for the New Zealand market, although it may not arrive on our shores until 2023. It’s hoped that the police deal will see its arrival be pushed forward.
“We’re definitely a pilot country. The challenge [with Enyaq supply] is with supply in Europe with their CO2 regulations,” Gillard said.
“They’re struggling as a company to supply countries outside of Europe that don’t have a CO2 regulation. So, in a nutshell once the government starts pushing some buttons it will be a lot easier for us to bring that vehicle here — if there is a penalty or fines [for brands with high CO2].”
The notion of fully electric police cars appears unlikely given the lack of overseas examples. America’s LAPD recently sold a fleet of unwanted BMW i3 police cars, and even Norway — a world leader in electric car adoption — primarily uses Mercedes-Benz Vito vans, BMW X4s and 5-Series’, and Volkswagen Passats.