All the latest news for independent workshops.
iQ boost for local councils and law enforcement
Date Listed: 17/11/2009
A supplier of police and local authority traffic-surveillance cars has started trialling Toyota iQs, with a view to replacing its current small-car fleet.
The capacity and reliability of the Toyota iQs are key attractions for Traffic Enforcement Systems, of Pulloxhill in Bedfordshire. At present TES operates 45 Smart Cars, which are hired out to those responsible for traffic regulation and community safety. The vehicles are fitted with a range of mobile CCTV and GPS systems, and specialist equipment such as thermal-imaging cameras and numberplate-readers.
Due to the need to find a small car with greater payload and space, TES has now bought and equipped a Toyota iQ 1.0-litre automatic as a demonstrator vehicle, and has just ordered a second. Managing Director Clive Paul said: "We’re getting a lot of good reviews at the moment. Manchester Police, for example, are very keen to take the prototype for a full trial, and if it makes the grade they’ll switch to iQs. We have also shown it to Devon & Cornwall Police, who were very impressed and have been in contact with us to arrange a long-term trial."
"The most important thing about the iQ is that it can carry more weight. At present, when carrying all the equipment and two operators we’re right on the borderline. We‘ve been having to make everything with aluminium to reduce the load, which adds substantially to our costs."
"The iQ solves this problem, as its gross vehicle weight is 150kg higher at 1200kg. Manchester Police say they like the idea of being able to carry two operators, because with all their body armour and so on, at present they can carry only one. Police officers also tend to be over 6ft tall, so they can often use only women officers in the cars. The iQ has loads more space than the Smart Car."
"Weight and space are not the only considerations. It’s very important that we offer manoeuvrable small cars that can enforce traffic regulations without being an obstruction themselves. Also, councils are extremely eco-conscious. The Toyota iQ 1.0-litre with multidrive returns 60mpg combined, with CO2 emissions of 110g/km."
"We specify automatics because we have a lithium-ion battery in the back powered from the alternator, and the automatic has a larger alternator."
"Surveillance and other equipment specified by customers can weigh around 60kg, and installation involves stripping out the car’s interior, including back seats, running in cabling, adding reinforcement for the roof-mast and installing a compressor."
Fitting-out, which can take up to five weeks, is carried out at TES’s Pulloxhill base, as is routine servicing and maintenance of equipment.
Maintenance and servicing of vehicles would be undertaken by Toyota.
Clive Paul says: "With the reliability of modern camera systems, TES needs a car to match, to ensure that costly downtime is minimised. Toyota has the reputation for reliability we need."
TES replaces its vehicles over two to three years, with 10,000 as the standard mileage.