In an Australian first, Chinese-made MGs will be used as marked police vehicles.
The Queensland Police Service has ordered 45 MG HS Plus EV plug-in hybrid SUVs as it targets a 100 per cent hybrid sedan and SUV fleet by 2025.
They’ll be used by Police Liaison Officers across the state, with three vehicles allocated to each of the 15 policing districts. They’ll also be adorned with First Nations artwork.
The QPS says it undertook independent tests and evaluation to ensure it was suitable for these duties. It has yet to take possession of the vehicles, and no photos are available.
MG HS SUVs are used as speed camera vehicles in New South Wales, but this is believed to be the first time an Australian police department has applied police livery to a Chinese vehicle.
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 is 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.
“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.