It’s official, the NZ Police are now the proud owners of European Škoda patrol cars after the department’s longstanding relationship with the Holden Commodore ended with the brand’s demise last year.
The New Zealand Police today unveiled its new primary response vehicle, the Škoda Superb which now also features the non-emergency number 105 on its flanks .
Police had to go to the market for a new fleet supplier after Holden announced it was pulling out of Australia and New Zealand.
The Škoda was selected from a group of seven manufacture’s cars in November 2020 following a rigorous evaluation process.
“For frontline staff, their vehicles are their primary place of work.
The Škoda Superb provides a safer, more comfortable environment for them while being value for money and reducing our carbon emissions across the fleet,” says Commissioner of Police, Andrew Coster.
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, unveiled 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.
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, says 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.”
The full rollout is expected to take four years.