You know range anxiety is becoming less and less of an issue when EVs are being turned into police cars. Authorities in New Zealand have taken delivery of five BMW i4 models to trial for the next six months. These are based on the eDrive40 and are about 120 kilograms (265 pounds) heavier after fitting the necessary extra equipment. Their role is to serve as patrol cars on the highway and will be used 24/7. Naturally, charging stations have been installed where these vehicles are based.
It should be noted Skoda has been chosen as the primary police car supplier to replace Holden, but the Enyaq electric SUV isn’t available yet. New Zealand Police fleet service group manager Brian Yanko says the model “wasn’t ready in time” as deliveries to customers are not scheduled to begin until December. Consequently, the i4 was chosen, but it wasn’t an easy process either as it took about 12 months to bring it to NZ. Additional EV police cars are on their way, including the Hyundai Kona and Ioniq 5.
Choosing the BMW i4 eDrive40 is part of a wider program to cut CO2 emissions and improve sustainability across the police car fleet until the end of the decade. Police Commissioner Andrew Coster declared: “This vehicle, the BMW i4, was selected for the trial because of its suitability most closely matching the police’s operational requirements. [This trial] is not to trial the BMW per say, it is to trial electric vehicles and see how they work in our operational setting.”
The eDrive40 used to be the entry-level version of the BMW i4 until the German luxury brand introduced a lesser eDrive35. These two are positioned below the newly announced xDrive40 and the performance-oriented i4 M50 flagship, which was the best-selling product from the M division in 2022. A facelifted 4 Series Gran Coupe is rumored to arrive sometime next year and is likely to bring changes to the fully electric i4 as well.