Monday, July 15, 2024

Škoda all revved up for Police debut

New Zealand Police today unveiled its new-look primary response vehicle, the Škoda Superb.

The first Škoda Superb to be fitted out with Police equipment and livery was unveiled by Commissioner Andrew Coster in central Wellington this morning.

“For frontline staff, their vehicles are their primary place of work,” said Commissioner Coster at today’s launch.

“The Škoda Superb provides a safer, more comfortable environment for them while being value for money and reducing our carbon emissions across the fleet.”

Police went to the market for a new fleet supplier after Holden announced it was pulling out of Australia and New Zealand. Škoda was selected in November 2020 following a rigorous evaluation process.

Seven companies responded to the fleet tender. Each vehicle submitted was tested against rigorous criteria by a team of staff from across policing groups and roles. Criteria included radio interference, performance and brake testing, emissions and service capability, and the total cost of ownership.

The first Škoda, revealed today, includes several new prototype features, which will be field-tested during the vehicle’s initial months in operation including internal Perspex barriers for officers’ safety and real-time location information on each vehicle to assist with deployment.

There are more than 2000 primary response vehicles currently in the Police fleet, all of which will be replaced when they reach the end of their useful life.

The first 101 Škodas will be rolled out before the end of June with a further 386 scheduled to hit the road by the end of the year.

Vehicles will be initially deployed to training staff in Districts and at the Royal New Zealand Police College.

The full roll out is expected to take four years.

“Frontline staff have tested the vehicles and enjoyed the spacious back seat, easy-to-read instruments, good visibility and the wide opening doors,” says Commissioner Coster.

Police will use two versions of the Superb as patrol vehicles, depending on operational requirements – the 162KW two-wheel drive and the 206KW four-wheel drive. Both will be station wagons, which provide greater flexibility for deployment and were preferred by staff.

“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,” he said.

“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.”

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