California police dept. adds Tesla electric car to patrol fleet, touts gas savings

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A police department near Tesla’s main factory in Fremont, California, has added a used Model S electric car to its fleet of vehicles, officials said in a press release this week.

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The Fremont Police Department said the Model S would replace a 2007 Dodge Charger in its car pool, noting that it was the only electric car that met its standards for size, performance and safety. The Model S will be modified for police use and equipped with a light bar, push bumper and other necessary gear.

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The used Model S cost more than $61,000 after taxes and fees, as well as an additional $4,447 for police modifications. By comparison, the department said a Ford Explorer with required police equipment could cost roughly $40,000, plus modifications costs, as well as an additional $32,000 in gas costs and $15,000 in maintenance over a five-year period.

“The electric patrol vehicle pilot program is an extension of the [city of Fremont’s] clean technology and smart city initiatives to help make Fremont a more sustainable community,” Fremont Police Captain Sean Washington said in a statement. “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 10 percent of all municipal greenhouse gas emissions.”

The Tesla vehicle was purchased as part of a pilot program within the department. Officials will monitor the vehicle’s performance and any other costs that may arise.

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Tesla is the city of Fremont’s largest employer, with about 10,000 employees, The Mercury News reported. Fremont is one of several cities in which police have tested electric vehicles for viability as patrol cars.

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