As part of a five-year plan, with an ‘out with the old, in with the new’ mindset to replace older vehicles with electric cars, the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) will be transforming Telsa Model S’s into patrol vehicles.
They got the ball rolling on this initiative in May of this year. It was at that time that the LAPD announced that it was going to borrow two Model S P85Ds to see if electric cars could be a good fit, and if they could handle patrolling demand needs. In the end, they ended up going with the BMWi3 when it came to electric cars; however, these vehicles are used for non-emergencies and not patrol.
Fast forward to more recently, and now the police department is taking on two Telsas (as loaners) and converting them into police cars. It is being reported that the P85 D will have a perp cage in the rear, a shotgun rack, and fully equipped with the communication technology it needs for patrolling. Once the car has been converted it will be given to the sergeant, who in turn will drive it for emergencies, as needed. It may even be used for hot pursuits, if you can imagine that. Testing for the car is said to start at the beginning of 2017.
It’s important to note, MSN advises that this doesn’t mean that the LAPD plans to forget about the BMW electric. In fact, the department is adding 100 of these cars to its fleet, and soon. Still, these cars do not have the range or power needed for emergencies, thus why the Telsa is entering the picture.
This entire project is a result of the LAPD’s commitment to the environment by reducing fossil fuels, an idea that is shared by the mayor of the city, Eric Garcetti. This is a great goal to have, considering the Model S is almost double the price when it comes to other common vehicles chosen by police departments across the country (i.e. Chevy Caprices and Ford Interceptors).
Still, the good news is they will save gas in the long run. Testing out the cars now will also help the LAPD determine the pros to having these vehicles as well as give them firsthand knowledge around any potential challenges. It will also help them to set up a charging infrastructure to maintain these cars and ensure that there is a procedure in place for their use and needs.