Chinese-made police cars will soon be on patrol in Queensland, but don’t expect them to be chasing down criminals.
MG has revealed the HS Plus EV plug-in hybrid (PHEV) SUVs that will soon be serving in the Queensland Police Service (QPS), where they’ll be driven by Police Liaison Officers.
45 examples of the mid-sized PHEV SUVs will be used by the QPS, each adorned with First Nations artwork, with three vehicles allocated to each of the 15 policing districts.
It’s believed to be the first time a Chinese-made car has been used as a marked police vehicle in Australia, though HS SUVs have seen use as unmarked speed camera vehicles in New South Wales.
“We help mums and dads get to work, sport, the shops and are also extremely proud to support the QLD Police Force not just to respond to incidents, but also to improve quality of life and increase public safety through collaboration between police officers and community members,” said MG Motor Australia CEO Peter Ciao.
Police Liaison Officers liaise with specific communities to “foster co-operation and understanding” and, among other responsibilities, advise police officers on cultural beliefs and protocols, and help create and maintain communication between the community and police.
The QPS says it undertook independent tests and evaluation to ensure the HS was suitable for its duties in the QPS.
It’s targeting a 100 per cent hybrid sedan and SUV fleet by 2025.
Once deployed, the HS will join an increasing number of conventional hybrid Toyota Camry, RAV4 and Kluger models, with the QPS also planning to roll out more electrified Mitsubishi and Kias.
Plug-in hybrid Mitsubishi Outlanders have been in use for some time as speed camera vehicles, and the QPS has confirmed more than two-thirds of its sedan and SUV fleet is electrified.
The QPS plans to only have hybrid and plug-in hybrid sedans and SUVs in its fleet within two years as part of a “hybrid first” policy.
It confirmed late last year it has also started suitability testing of EVs, though hasn’t specified which vehicles it’s looking at or set any introduction dates or fleet targets other than to say it is looking to a “full electric vehicle future in the years to come”.
The QPS has already added five hydrogen fuel-cell Hyundai Nexo crossovers to its fleet in 2021, which have been deployed to demonstrate the benefits of FCEVs to the force and to showcase the technology to the public.
Its hybrid goal doesn’t include its paddy wagons and utes – understandable, given the dearth of electrified utes and vans in Australia.
Looking at entire fleet composition, Logan District in the state’s south-east has been leading with 46 per cent hybridisation as of November 2022.
Brisbane Region and Southeast Region, which cover the most populous part of Queensland, are sitting at 40 per cent by the same point.
“The very nature of operational policing means our officers are constantly on the move,” said Acting Deputy Commissioner Mark Wheeler.
“We know the vehicles must be fit for purpose, reliable and able to be used in challenging circumstances.
“We are aiming to achieve a 100 percent hybrid sedan and SUV fleet within two years, subject to supply constraints and operational requirements.
“This is not only extremely important for the environment in terms of reducing emissions, but also helps to offset the rises in fuel and operational costs we are all experiencing.”
The force says its vehicles collectively clock around 212,638 kilometres each day, 1.5 million kilometres each week and 77 million kilometres per year.
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