Thin blue line goes green: Police step on the gas to cut carbon emissions

Queensland police travel 77 million kilometres each year in the line of duty, prompting a move to hybrid vehicles across the service’s fleet within two years to drastically slash carbon emissions.

Nov 10, 2022, updated Nov 10, 2022

Seventy-one per cent of the Queensland Police Service’s operational SUVs and sedans are classified as petrol-electric powered hybrid models, but Police Minister Mark Ryan wants that to be 100 per cent by the end of 2024.

Ryan said the QPS had been steadily growing the number of fuel-efficient hybrids and plug-in hybrids over the last three years, with Logan south of Brisbane leading the state with 46 per cent of its fleet already transitioned.

“I am proud to advise that as of today, a remarkable 71 percent of police sedans and SUVs are now low emission hybrid vehicles,” Ryan said.

“Police will be adopting a ‘hybrid first’ policy for its sedans and SUV fleet, and will progressively replace all non-hybrids with new, more efficient hybrid vehicles.”

Ryan told reporters during a media conference that the Queensland budget allocated $48 million a year for the purchase and fit-out of police vehicles and the fuel and maintenance to keep them on the road.

He said the move to hybrid models had already delivered “many millions of dollars” of savings for taxpayers on fuel costs and he expected that number to rise as the transition from petrol-powered cars was completed.

“This is not just a measure of saving money, it’s a measure of using less fuel to reduce our carbon emissions,” he said.

“If we can save some money on petrol, we can then invest that in equipment, and potentially, more police vehicles.”

Acting Deputy Commissioner Mark Wheeler said QPS vehicles collectively clocked up about 1.5 million kilometres each week travelling across the state.

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“The very nature of operational policing means our officers are constantly on the move,” Wheeler said.

“We know the vehicles must be fit for purpose, reliable and able to be used in challenging circumstances.

“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.”

A statement from Ryan’s office said testing on a range of electric vehicles (EVs) had already begun, with the QPS also investigating its substantial rooftop solar assets as a charging option for when the fleet converts to EVs in the future.



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