This Police Department Has A Secret, Silent Weapon: A Tesla Cop Car

Of course, the department wants to cut fuel costs and emissions too.

Tesla Cop Car
[Photo: Fremont Police Department]

A Tesla cop car? Yep, that’s a thing, and the Fremont, California Police Department is about to put one into service. Replacing an aging 2007 Dodge Charger, the department came a bit out of left field by purchasing a 2014 Tesla Model S as a test car. According to a tweet the department sent out yesterday, the car will “study performance, durability, range and costs.”

If Fremont sounds familiar, that’s because it’s Tesla’s backyard. Their main factory is based in Fremont. It makes sense that the local police would pick up a Tesla Model S as part of this pilot program. But there’s more to it than that: the department is looking to save money in the long run on gasoline costs and maintenance.

Here’s the situation by the numbers. Fremont Police bought a used 2014 Tesla Model S 85 in January 2018 for $61,478.50, including taxes and fees. While that’s more than a $40,000 Ford Police Interceptor Utility, that isn’t quite the whole picture. The department also projected that filling up and maintaining the Explorer-based police car would cost $47,000 over a five-year span. That’s the average life of a police vehicle, and includes $32,000 in gasoline and $15,000 in maintenance costs. Fremont Police state the Tesla may help cut down on those costs significantly. The Tesla may also be able to stay in police service longer, since it won’t require as much maintenance as an ordinary police car.

Since buying the car, the department has installed standard police equipment like the light bar, push bumper and ballistic barriers. They’ve spent $4,447 on modifications to date — slightly more than they’d spend to do the same modifications to an Explorer.

Tesla cop car
A before shot of Fremont Police’s latest Tesla cop car. [Photo: Fremont Police Department]

How about speed?

Not only would the Tesla Model S be a green solution: We think it may be a faster one too. After all, the Model S 85 is no slouch thanks to its electric powertrain. It’s no P100D, but it should still hit 60 mph in around 5.5 seconds. Not only that, but since it’s an electric car, you definitely won’t hear it coming. You will see it eventually, like when you’ve been pulled over for speeding and see it in your rearview mirror.

While Fremont isn’t the first city to go this route, it seems we will see more like this Tesla cop car in the future.