Electric police cars will be part of the ACT's future law enforcement fleet - but not just yet.
After a lengthy assessment process which included two Tesla electric vehicles, the ACT has stuck with convention and gone with internal combustion.
It has rolled out two of its newest road policing operational vehicles, both worth around $165,000 once all the warning lights, electronic message boards, radios, relays and cameras are added to the list price.
The new additions are BMW X3 40i models powered by a turbocharged 3.0-litre six-cylinder petrol engine and an eight-speed automatic transmission. The sport utility vehicles have a standard stop-start system and a handy acceleration capability, claimed by the factory as being able to move from rest to 100km/h in 4.8 seconds.
Their fuel economy is rated at 8.9 litres/100kms, they only run on expensive premium unleaded fuel, and they emit 204 grams of CO2 per kilometre travelled.
Under the Greens-Labor accord, the ACT government has a plan to make all its vehicles electric by 2030, but the same timetable doesn't apply to the police because its officers are Commonwealth employees, with the federal police contracting its services to the ACT government.
In Victoria, police are preparing to go all-electric by 2029 and last year added a Tesla Model X to their fleet. A Model X costs around $127,000 before any special modifications are made to suit police purposes.
"We can see a day when we will have electric police cars in the ACT, just not quite yet," Commander Michael Chew said.
"It is something we are looking at and we did assess two Tesla models in the evaluation trial we had here to replace our two [outgoing] Holden Commodore V8 pursuit cars.
"But at this point in time, this vehicle [the X3] ticks all the boxes for our requirements."
The choice of police cars throughout the country is mired in politics and complications, with Queensland police using four-door Kia Stinger GTs for their highway patrol, while both Victoria and NSW use both BMW 5-Series turbo-diesel sedans and Chrysler 300 SRT V8s.
These were all evaluated by the ACT police. However, our small jurisdiction doesn't have the long distance travel requirements and thousands of kilometres of country and highway conditions experienced elsewhere so the need for a sustained high-speed capability was not a priority.
All operational vehicles used by the police in the ACT are given a four-level pursuit rating with the latest vehicles rated the maximum class one.
The new all wheel drive BMWs will add to the road policing fleet which currently include the VW Passat turbo R-Series wagons. The ACT secured the very last batch of V8 manual "police specials" which came off the Holden line before the South Australian factory was closed at this time three years ago.
Two of those V8 Commodores are now going into retirement - stripped of all hardware and sold off at auction - while the final two will be gone next year. The last V8 manual VF Commodore pursuit car will go to the federal police museum.
The latest BMWs have a tailormade rear underfloor full of sophisticated, locally installed electronics including four extra batteries to run the lights and message systems, the encrypted radio network, five high-definition cameras providing 360-degree aspect, and automated number plate recognition cameras.
Everything it "sees" through its sophisticated camera system can be relayed back, in real time, to the Operations Centre in Belconnen.