Teslas, Other Electric Police Cars Might Be Coming to London Soon

The chief of London's Metropolitan Police Service was recently in talks with Tesla CEO Elon Musk as part of a push to add EVs to the department's fleet.

London’s Metropolitan Police Service will be adding 250 alternative energy vehicles to its fleet in the next 12 months as part of the department’s first step to switch up its 4,000-car fleet, according to a report—and part of that mix-up could involve adding some Teslas. 

The department is currently working to bring hydrogen fuel cell cars into its fleet as emergency response vehicles for the first time, and 30 hybrid-electric cars as well, the Evening Standard reports. Hydrogen-powered scooters are also in tests within the department. The decision to add the EVs and other eco-friendly cars is part of the move to replace 700 of the department’s 4,000 vehicles in 2017 and 2018. 

The push toward alternative-energy vehicles comes as pollution fears continue to grow within London, the Evening Standard reports.

And that could include some of Tesla’s appealing electric cars. Department chief Bernard Hogan-Howe spoke with Tesla CEO Elon Musk about the department potentially testing some of his EVs. The department has also been in talks with Ford, Nissan, Mercedes, Renault, and Volkswagen, and the police are also bringing in a hydrogen-powered Toyota Mirai for test purposes.

“We have to make sure that we have an operational police fleet which can respond to 24/7 policing, that is our top priority,” said Jiggs Bharij, head of the police department’s fleet services. “To support this we need to make sure that there are charging points available across the estate and that the vehicles are capable of carrying and powering additional police equipment which enables officers and members of the public to remain safe at the scene of an incident.”

Teslas have been tapped for police testing before; most notably, the Los Angeles Police Department turned a Model S into a cop car last year. But London could well be the first major city to add a significant number of Elon Musk’s EVs to its fleet.