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Not Quite Robocop, But This California Police Department is Rocking a Tesla Model S

Last Updated September 23, 2020 12:23 PM
David Hundeyin
Last Updated September 23, 2020 12:23 PM

By CCN.com: The Fremont Police Department has announced  that it is launching a pilot program to use electric vehicles to reduce carbon emissions while patrolling the sunny California locality, and it’s turning to hometown company Tesla for help.

Tesla: Coming Soon to a Police Department Near You?

The first stage of the ongoing pilot makes use of a Tesla Model S that has been customised to meet the police department’s automotive needs. According to the statement released on Wednesday, the department is considering the possibility of adopting electric vehicles to replace its entire fleet of patrol cars if this pilot program shows positive results.

In 2017, the city of Fremont, California – which is home to Tesla’s assembly factory – put a team together to study the possibility of Fremont relacing its combustion engine patrol cars with electric vehicles. Drawing on expertise from various parts of the city government including the police, finance, public works, and engineering departments, the team set about drawing up a plan to cut down on carbon emissions.

Under the pilot program, three charging stations and a solar-powered carport will be installed within the police complex. The program will be monitored closely by a team which will assess the police-owned Tesla Model S based on costs, performance, and durability.

Speaking about the program, Sean Washington, the department’s police captain, said:

The electric patrol vehicle pilot program is an extension of the City’s clean technology and smart city initiatives to help make Fremont a more sustainable community. Given that Fremont Police vehicle fleet is responsible for a total of 980 metric tons of carbon dioxide emissions annually, this program has the potential to eliminate 10 percent of all municipal greenhouse gas emissions.

Fremont Says it’s Not Just A Gimmick

The Fremont police hope that the Model S will save the department money in the long run even though the cost of buying it and modifying it to law enforcement standards are relatively high compared to conventional vehicles. According to the police, the used 2014 Model S was purchased for $61,478.50 and has so far taken an additional $4,447 to refit and equip to meet the demands of a patrol vehicle.

By comparison, the standard issue Ford Explorer used by the police department costs just $40,000 up front but incurs an additional $47,000 in fuel and maintenance charges over a five-year period. The Tesla is expected to deliver significantly lower maintenance costs because it has fewer internal moving parts, which results in fewer mechanical problems. It is also expected to last longer in service.

If the city eventually decides to scale up its electric vehicle program for the police department, it could potentially cut down greenhouse emissions by at least 10%. The use of electric vehicles like the Tesla Model S is also likely to reduce noise pollution, as unlike internal combustion engines, electric vehicles are relatively quiet.

Featured Image from Fremont Police Department/Twitter