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Te Whanganui-a-Tara – Police are steering towards a more electric future, with a further roll-out of electric pool vehicles advancing the commitment to reduce the organisation’s carbon footprint.

A trial of 38 EVs has begun, using Hyundai Konas, which have a range of about 400km on a single charge.

They won’t be used with red and blue flashing lights, however.  The EVs will be for non-operational work.

While police currently have a Skoda plug-in hybrid electric vehicle for frontline operations, work in that space is ongoing given the criteria frontline cars must meet.

The trial of the Hyundais will see GPS and usage data analysed over the next six months to determine the success of the project, along with focus group sessions with users to get first-hand feedback.

The EVs have been rolled out so far in Wellington, and a further 14 locations will receive vehicles over the next three months.

New Zealand police has one of the largest vehicle fleets in New Zealand, with 3500 vehicles, including about 2200 liveried patrol cars registered vehicles – one of the largest fleets in New Zealand.

The fleet, including motorcycles, boats and helicopters, produces about 70 percent of police’s carbon emissions.

In June 2020, the Prime Minister encouraged chief executives in government to consider replacing their light vehicle fleets with electric vehicles to support government’s target.

Police are committed to procuring battery electric vehicles where practical and has outlined a five-year plan to an emissions-free fleet; this is expected to result in a significant reduction in C02 emissions.

In the UK, police force using electric vehicles is struggling to respond to crime because the batteries keep going flat.

Gloucestershire police has the largest full electric fleet in the UK, making up 21 percent of their 435 vehicles.