Fremont Police send Tesla electric patrol car into active service

To serve and protect the planet

A POLICE department in California has deployed its first electric car: a Tesla Model S.

The 2014 Model S 85 was bought by Fremont Police in January 2018 and has since been running a pilot scheme to assess its suitability, but this week the vehicle was declared fully operational and deployed on patrol.

The pure-electric Model S replaced a 2007 Dodge Charger that was taken out of service due to its age. The Tesla is the only electric vehicle that met specifications for size, performance, battery range and safety, according to Fremont Police, with an EPA rated range of 265 miles and a 0-60mph time of 5.4sec.

The car cost the department $61,478 (£46,443) plus around $5,000 (£3,777) in standard police modifications, including the light bar, push bumper, and ballistic barriers. That compares with around $40,000 (£30,226) for a similarly police-specced Ford Explorer.

However, Fremont Police said the cost of petrol over a five-year period for the police Ford Explorer is approximately £24,165, whereas the electricity for the Tesla, which comes from the City Police Complex’s 872kW solar carport structures installed onsite and three charging stations, will equate to just £3,266 over five years.

In addition, maintenance over the same period is estimated at £11,338 for the Ford but only £2,948 for the Tesla, which doesn’t have an engine or gearbox to look after.

Of course, the Tesla also boast zero tailpipe emissions, too.

“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,” said Fremont Police Captain Sean Washington.

“Given that the 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% of all municipal greenhouse gas emissions.”

The fact that Tesla’s US factory and HQ is based down the road is also a badge of honour for Fremont Police.

Credit: Fremont Police Department via Storyful