The Queensland Police Force unveiled its first fully electric highway patrol car on Wednesday, a top of the range Kia EV6 GT Line.
The GT-Line AWD version does 0-100 in 5.2 seconds and has 484 km of range, making it an ideal highway patrol car.
According to acting assistant commissioner Matthew Vanderbyl, the 239 kW all-electric model makes the EV6 “the most powerful vehicle in our fleet”.
Queensland Police Commissioner Katarina Carroll said the bright yellow wrap is a nod to past vehicles and to draw bystanders’ attention.
“The vehicle behind me is a bit of a throwback to the 80s – the V8s when we had those big highway patrols – but this one is certainly a lot more efficient,” said Carroll.
“We will have five of these around the state… to really test it.”
The very first job for the new electric patrol car was to escort the Queensland rugby league team into the stadium for Wednesday night’s State of Origin game.
Last month NSW police announced their first electric vehicle, a BMW iX while earlier this month Western Australia Police took delivery of their first EV patrol car, a Hyundai Ioniq 5. Victorian Police started testing a Tesla Model X as a highway patrol car back in 2019.
Acting Assistant Commissioner Matthew Vanderbyl said five EVs would be deployed for highway patrols across Brisbane, Nambour, Ipswich, Toowoomba and Cairns to test the cars in different situations and environments.
“What does it do to electric vehicle range when we drive it up and down the Toowoomba range 10 times a day or when we put it out into Cairns into the wet tropics, what does that do to batteries and the technology?” said Vanderbyl.
The five new trial EVs will be fitted with radio and lights and join the QLD police fleet within three months.
The electric cars will operate alongside almost 80 hybrid and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles already used by Queensland police.
Mr Vanderbyl said the QLD Police’s eventual transition to a fully electric fleet for its nearly 3000 vehicles was “inevitable”.
“We see a really accelerating rate of take-up in electric vehicles within the broader community,” said Vanderbyl.
“There are good reasons for that.”
Daniel Bleakley is a clean technology researcher and advocate with a background in engineering and business. He has a strong interest in electric vehicles, renewable energy, manufacturing and public policy.