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Tuesday 23 May 2017
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The LAPD Has Its Heart Set On Tesla Patrol Cars

The LAPD Has Its Heart Set On Tesla Patrol Cars

Los Angeles likes to keep things cutting edge. Even for its police force. Earlier this year, the LAPD added BMW i3s to its fleet. Now it sure would like to add a few Tesla’s into the mix, too. It’s all part of the LAPD’s plans to electrify its entire fleet.

Currently, the 100 i3s on the fleet are used solely for non-emergency responses. They just don’t have the get up and go or the range needed for a standard patrol car. Enter the Tesla Model S.

The department currently has two loaner Model S P85 Ds from Tesla. They dressed up one in the black and white to get people used to the idea of seeing one. The other one will be fully rigged in police patrol car gear and will begin field patrol tests next year. Tesla itself will assist the LAPD in outfitting the vehicle for duty.

The Tesla S trumps the i3 on all accounts. It has more power, a longer range, and a bigger sticker price. The first two means that it brings the credentials of a patrol car.  The hold up is, as you might imagine, the Tesla’s price tag. By comparison, the S starts at $80k while the i3 falls just above the $40k mark. It puts it way out of the range for outfitting the entire force. Even with a calculated 15% drop in operating cost with the all-electric model. It’s why the i3 beat out Tesla earlier this summer.

The Tesla S P85D has a range of 275 miles on one charge. That’s more than double that of the i3. It has a range of only 80 to 100 miles. It also does a sluggish 0 to 60 mph of 7.0 seconds. The Tesla gets a track ready time of 3.2 seconds.


The price tag, and the minor concern of a loss of power rendering the fleet useless, keeps the LAPD from a full electric conversion at the present time. However, the city says it will flip the complete electric switch within the next five years.


Related Video: NBC4 News Los Angeles