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California PD Rolls Out Tesla Cop Car

It took a little longer and cost a bit more, but the vehicle has been retrofitted with a light bar, push bumper, prisoner partition and ballistics.

The city of Fremont, California recently announced that it will be adding a Tesla Model S to its fleet of police cruisers. The vehicle is part of a pilot program aimed at helping boost the department’s green initiatives. 

According to a report on Digital Trends, the department purchased a used 2014 S 85 for just over $61,000 last January. Over the last 12 months the vehicle has been retrofitted with a light bar, push bumper, prisoner partition, ballistic barriers and more at a cost of just over $4,400. It took a little longer and cost a bit more because unlike other vehicles used for law enforcement, a Tesla police package is not yet available. 

The vehicle chosen by the Fremont PD comes with an 85 kWh lithium-ion battery capable of providing a 300-mile range and producing up to 380 horsepower. The department estimated that fuel and maintenance costs on a Ford Explorer would run about $21,000 annually. The department also forecasts that the Tesla will demand less maintenance and last longer than a gas-fueled Explorer. 

Using averages costs for electricity, gasoline and fuel/power capacity for each vehicle also points to the S 85 costing about 5 cents per mile less to keep fueled up than the Explorer. To help reduce these costs even further, the Fremont PD has invested in 872 kilowatts of solar panels to power three electric vehicle charging stations. 

The Teslas will be assessed for durability, range, performance and operating costs in the coming weeks. If the results are positive, it’s reasonable to assume that electric vehicles could become a larger part of the law enforcement fleet. 

The Fremont Police Department also made it known that just because Tesla runs a plant nearby, they were not shown hometown favoritism. Rather, the S model was the only electric vehicle that met the department’s size, performance, driving range and safety requirements.

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