Law enforcement in Fremont, California has made an unusual addition to its patrol car fleet: an electric Tesla Model S sedan.
Said Tesla is a used 2014 Tesla Model S 85D, which was purchased by the Fremont Police in January of 2018 for $61,478.50. Despite playing host to the factory in which the Tesla Model S was made, Fremont Police states it picked the Model S as its first electric patrol car due to its size, performance, and range.
Modifications needed to ready the Tesla for service with law enforcement total $4,447 so far, and that sum will increase as the vehicle's final up-fittings are completed. It will replace a 2007 Dodge Charger at the end of its service life, and according to KRON 4 will join other unorthodox police vehicles in the Fremont fleet, like Ford F-150s.
Modifications to ready the Tesla for police service exceed the price of a Ford Explorer-based Police Interceptor Utility, but Fremont projects the combined price and running costs of said Ford over the average police cruiser's service life of five years to exceed that of the Tesla's preparation cost. Electricity to charge the Tesla will come at no cost to Fremont, as the department has 872 kilowatts worth of solar power at its headquarters. In addition to the reduced running cost, Fremont anticipates the Tesla's minimal maintenance requirements could prolong its service life.
This vehicle will contribute to a cause to which Fremont dedicated itself in 2005: reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by 25 percent come next year. Fremont is no stranger to the use of reduced-emissions vehicles in it police fleet, having adopted a Toyota Prius in 2009 and multiple Ford Fusion Hybrids since 2014. Like most departments across the United States, Fremont has put its iconic Ford Crown Victorias out to pasture.
"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,” declared Fremont Police Captain Sean Washington in a department release. "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 ten percent of all municipal greenhouse gas emissions."
Fremont will use the pioneering vehicle to determine the viability of electric vehicles as patrol cars and will monitor the Tesla's performance, range, degradation, and other factors across the vehicle's service life.