Penrith Police Station in Sydney’s west will begin a 12-month trial of a Hyundai Kona Electric in a community engagement role.
Announced this week, the New South Wales Police Force took delivery of a Hyundai Kona Electric which will be used by the Crime Prevention Unit in the Nepean Area Command in west Sydney.
Though the vehicle is decked out in NSW Police colours and the trademark blue and white checkerboard, it has not been fitted with the lights, sirens, radios, or computer systems usually found in an active-duty police car, intended instead to be used primarily for community engagement and demonstrating the benefit of electric vehicles to the public at events, shows, and public displays.
The Kona Electric will be used to conduct crime awareness programs and in liaising with councils and schools.
“The Hyundai Kona electric vehicle is a valuable addition to the Nepean Police Area Command and will assist our Crime Prevention Unit with its community engagement initiatives,” said Superintendent Chris Keane, Commander of Nepean Police Area Command.
“The sponsored vehicle with unique police markings is generating a lot of interest and comments when out in the community, and we are grateful to Hyundai for its support of our Command.”
An AC wall-box has also been installed at the Penrith Police Station’s underground carpark, allowing for the charge of the Kona Electric’s 64kWh battery to provide the vehicle’s rated 449-kilometre range (WLTP).
This is not the beginning of a relationship between NSW Police and Hyundai, with the Hyundai Sonata already in use as a general duties police vehicle. Nor is it the first time that NSW Police have used a high-profile sponsored vehicle, following the use of Porsche 911, McLaren 650S, Jaguar XF, and BMW i8 over recent years.
But following a 12-month trial, the hope is that the NSW Police Force will be able to determine whether EV technology matches up to the rigours and safety of police work.
“We’re delighted to provide a Kona Electric for use by the NSW Police Force,” said Jun Heo, CEO of Hyundai Australia.
“Deploying Kona Electric within the Nepean Area Command Crime Prevention Unit as well as for community engagement is a terrific opportunity for the NSW Police Force and the public to experience the unique benefits of our long-range, zero-emission battery-electric SUV.”
In 2019, Victorian police also added an all-electric Tesla Model X to a patrol unit as a “one-off” purchase to study the usefulness of EVs for police fleets.