Queensland Police have added their first electric vehicle to their highway patrol fleet. While naysayers will make jokes about extension cords, hoons should be concerned if this car shows up in their rearview mirror.
He Queensland Police Force has added its first fully operational electric highway patrol car to its fleet, the Kia EV6.
And while hoons and rev-heads may write off a battery-powered police vehicle pitch, it’s just as capable of performance as previous V8 and turbocharged chase cars from Holden and Ford.
Although this is not the fastest model in the Kia EV6 range, this particular variant selected by the authorities, the– is capable of doing the race from zero to 100 km/h in about five seconds.
With twin electric motors and a combined output of 239kW and 605Nm, the bright yellow Kia EV6 that has earned its stripes is just as quick as the twin-turbocharged Kia Stinger highway patrol sedan already used by Queensland police.
A 77.4 kWh battery provides up to 504 kilometers of range on a single charge when driving gently.
Driven flat out, tests have shown that the driving range can be cut in half. However, part of the reason the Kia EV6 was added to the Queensland Police fleet is to learn more about emerging technology.
The retro yellow livery is said to be inspired by highway patrol cars of the past, most notably the V8-powered Ford Falcons and turbocharged Holden Commodores of the 1980s.
Despite the yellow wrapping, looking inside the doorjambs reveals a maroon colour, apparently in support of Queensland’s State of Origin (NRL) football team.
While Queensland Police currently use a range of hybrid and plug-in hybrid vehicles, the introduction of the Kia EV6 is another step in the implementation of Queensland’s Zero Emission Vehicle Strategy 2022-2032, announced by the state government in March 2022. 2022.
“As much as I used to revere that beautiful (VL Holden Commodores) turbo hiss and throaty V8 sound, this one does it better. It’s fast, drives like it’s on rails, stops on a dime…it’s a amazing vehicle,” interim superintendent Peter Flanders told the media during the car’s unveiling.
“This vehicle that we can see is canary yellow, that’s the history of highway patrol in Queensland. Canary yellow cars used to drive around the state, and they made a statement.”
“Prevention is the number one policing tool. It comes before everything else. And high-visibility policing, particularly in traffic work, is the absolute pinnacle, and that’s backed by research. [from] All over the world. This car is very visible, it’s about prevention and reducing road injuries, and that’s why our traffic people exist, simply to reduce road injuries across our network.”
While Acting Superintendent Flanders is full of praise for the Kia, he admits there may be some police officers who need convincing of the electric car’s capability.
“Let me be blunt: I think there are going to be some tough old men who might have a hard time in the first few minutes of driving the car and say ‘why am I in an electric vehicle?’ But like me, after the first two minutes you’re sold. It’s so many streets ahead of what our old vehicles used to be,” he said.
While the Kia is the first electric car to join the Queensland Police highway patrol fleet, it is not the first battery-powered emergency vehicle in Australia.
Victoria Police Highway Patrol officers have been driving a Tesla Model X electric SUV foralthough it has been used primarily as a test vehicle and display model rather than a fully operational deployment.
Drive reported on a Tesla Model 3 being tested by Queensland Fire and Emergency Services, one of three electric cars being tested by the department.
The Western Australia Police Force began testing a Hyundai Ioniq 5 electric car and a Toyota Mirai hydrogen vehicle.
The Queensland Police deployment is not the first time a Kia EV6 has been used by law enforcement.