After a rigorous testing and evaluation process, New Zealand Police has selected the Škoda Superb as the new frontline Police car. The more environmentally friendly Škoda will become Police’s primary response vehicle, with the first cars expected on roads and in communities as early as April this year.
After General Motors announced it was pulling Holden out of the Australasian market, Police went to tender for a new preferred supplier.
“With more than 2000 primary response vehicles currently in action, selecting a new supplier provides an important opportunity to reduce carbon emissions and ensure value for money across our fleet,” says Commissioner Coster.
Throughout the tender process, two Škoda Superb models stood out as ideal primary response vehicles.
“Frontline staff said they handled well and they felt confident and safe driving the vehicle,” he says.
“They liked the large doors with a wide opening range, easy-to-read instruments, front and rear visibility, and the spaciousness of the rear passenger area.”
Police will be using station wagons as they offer greater flexibility for deployment and were the preferred body type by staff. The 162KW 2WD and the 206KW 4×4 Superbs will be deployed according to operational requirements.
“As well as the Superbs standing out in our evaluation process, Škoda is repeatedly chosen for use as police and emergency services vehicles throughout Europe. It is used in more than 30 jurisdictions, including Austria, France, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom,” says Commissioner Coster.
“More importantly, these new vehicles will deliver significant reductions in our fleet’s carbon footprint.”
The average CO2 emissions for all fleet vehicles in New Zealand is 180.7 grams per kilometre, while the Superbs sit on the greener side at 162 for the 162KW model and 176 for the 206KW.
“When compared to our current fleet, C02 emissions per kilometre could be reduced by up to 38.6 per cent per vehicle, depending on what is being replaced,” he says.
Electric and hybrid vehicles were tested, but limitations including power efficiency and the total cost of ownership meant they were not the preferred option.
“While incredibly promising, electric and hybrid technology are not yet a viable option for our patrol vehicles,” says Commissioner Coster. “However, we are committed to reducing our carbon emissions and have outlined a ten-year plan to an emissions-free fleet.”
Prime 1 Patrol Vehicles in the existing fleet will be replaced when they have reached the end of their useful life, at a rate of around 400 per year.
Police is expecting to deploy the first lot of Škodas in April 2021. The new-look Police cars will be revealed early this year.
Frequently Asked Questions
What was the evaluation criteria?
Each vehicle was tested against a rigorous set of criteria. Mandatory criteria included radio interference, performance and brake testing. Non-price attributes (such as emissions and service capability) accounted for 20 per cent of the weighting, physical testing accounted for 40 per cent (such as road testing), and the total cost of ownership accounted for the final 40 per cent.
Do the Police use any electric or hybrid vehicles at the moment?
Police has a small number of electric and hybrid cars for use in non-operational roles. Police intends to expand the number of low/no-emission vehicles through the annual replacement programme.
When will Holden be replaced?
Police cars and car-based models are considered for replacement at an average age of six to seven years or once the clock up 120,000km, whichever comes first.
Will the Holdens continued to be serviced?
Holden dealerships are not disappearing completely. Holden will remain available to service Police vehicles for the next ten years. However, should it happen that a Holden service agent is no longer available, Police will continue to work with its partners to maintain the servicing requirements for its operational fleet.
What is Police’s 10-year plan to an emissions-free fleet?
New Zealand Police is in the process of developing a 10-Year Fleet strategy (2020-2030), which will outline a roadmap to reducing CO2 emissions and improve sustainability across the Police fleet over the next decade.
This evaluation gave Police some real experience with electric and hybrid vehicles and provided practical learnings for their future implementation. While the technology does not currently align with Police’s core business requirements, EVs and hybrids will continue to be tested as the technology improves in terms of vehicle performance and range.
Police will actively introduce more electric and hybrid vehicles into its fleet for use in non-operational roles from 2021.
How many vehicle submissions did Police receive?
The Request for Proposals (RFP) received submissions from seven suppliers with 27 different vehicles. 12 shortlisted vehicles underwent a process to physically assess a broad range of criteria necessary to perform as a Prime 1 Patrol vehicle (primary response vehicle). When all criteria were considered the two Škoda Superb models ranked the highest.
Details of the suppliers and vehicles considered is confidential and commercially sensitive.
Ebbett ŠKODA takes home an impressive collection of awards
Ebbett ŠKODA has taken out the overall award at ŠKODA New Zealand’s Dealer of the Year Awards. The awards, held on 20 February this year at Okahu Bay in Auckland, was attended by the ŠKODA New Zealand team, representatives from ŠKODA dealerships throughout the country, as well as Petr Šolc, Head of Overseas Sales for ŠKODA Auto, and Ondřej Švásta, ŠKODA Auto Sales Manager for New Zealand and Australia.
Michael van den Engel, General Manager of Ebbett ŠKODA says it’s a team effort that has resulted in the top award.
“Our team at Ebbett ŠKODA put in a huge effort across all the departments every year and we are humbled that we were able to bring home an impressive collection of awards from the recent ŠKODA Champions Awards to acknowledge this effort. I want to thank the team and our loyal customers for their ongoing support”.
ŠKODA New Zealand General Manager Rodney Gillard echoes these sentiments. “I’m pleased to see this family business that invests in their customers, staff and community as a well-deserved recipient of the Dealer of the year Award.”
Along with the Dealer of the Year Award, Ebbett ŠKODA also won awards for Sales Specialist of the Year, Sales Manager of the Year, Business Manager of the Year, and a finalist award for Parts Manager of the Year.
“Ebbett ŠKODA is a great example of a dealership that excels in all key areas of their business -sales, aftersales, service, finance, and customer experience.”
This is the second year ŠKODA New Zealand have run the Dealer of the Year Awards night, which focuses on bringing people together from ŠKODA partners and dealerships all over New Zealand to celebrate successes from the previous year.
All ŠKODA dealerships are held to high standard and this shone through in the awards night, with many receiving awards or finalist accolades. Ebbett ŠKODA wishes to congratulate all award recipients for their efforts and for the 2019/2020 year.
2019 Auto Express Review
The Skoda Scala is a real achievement for the Czech company. It rides extremely well, especially on SE spec’s 16-inch alloy wheels, yet it’s still precise and good to drive. What will matter more to most buyers, however, is that while the new Skoda is more practical than most of its rivals, it’s also one of the cheapest cars to buy. Ultimately our verdict has to factor in cost – and the Scala is among the best of its breed on value for money.
We loved the new Skoda Scala when we drove it for the first time in Croatia earlier this year. Now, we’ve had the chance to get behind the wheel of a right-hand-drive model on British roads, which is any car’s toughest hurdle.
To recap, the Scala is the Czech brand’s latest rival for the Volkswagen Golf in the family hatchback class. It won’t replace the much-loved Octavia; instead, it’ll sit alongside the more saloon-shaped model in Skoda’s range, with a slightly keener price. The new car has similar mechanicals to the Golf and the Octavia, because all three models are based on the VW Group’s MQB architecture. However, there are some crucial differences between them.
Even on our rough roads, the Scala rides every bit as well as a Golf, especially on the 16-inch alloy wheels that come on SE trim. The tyres’ large, soft sidewalls really help to cushion the worst of the UK’s surfaces.