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This Is Not Your Usual Police Car

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Swiss police found only one vehicle met its criteria, so it bought 13 of them.

There are some vehicles we've come to expect to see pressed into duty for those who protect and serve. Like Dodge Chargers, for example, or Ford Explorers. This is neither, but it's the latest vehicle to be converted for police duty.

The police department in St. Gallen in northeastern Switzerland has taken delivery of a new motor pool of Hyundai Kona EVs. A baker's dozen of them, in fact – five of which will wear special police liveries, with the other eight remaining in nondescript "civilian" appearance.

So why the electric Kona, you wonder? Well apparently the local fuzz wanted electric vehicles with over 100 kW (134 horsepower), a range of over 400 kilometers (~250 miles), and a purchase price below 50,000 Swiss francs (which coverts to about the same in American greenbacks). The St. Gallen cantonal police (similar to a state highway patrol) undertook a selection process, and the Kona EV was apparently the only vehicle that fit the bill.

"With the use of electric vehicles, we are fulfilling a cantonal and political mandate, primarily to reduce noise and exhaust emissions," said police spokesman Hanspeter Krüsi.

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"Thanks to more than 100 kW of power, more than 400 km of range, space for five people and significant loading space for equipment, the Kona Electric meets all the requirements for the cantonal police of St. Gallen. Compared to conventional vehicles, the purchase price is set a little higher. However, this is offset by the Kona Electric's lower maintenance costs and the general upkeep."

The department took delivery of the new Konas a couple of weeks ago, fitted with special communication equipment, strobe lights, and other upgrades for keeping the peace in the area south of Bodensee (also known as Lake Constance).