LAPD Testing $105K Tesla as ‘High-Pursuit’ Luxury Police Cruiser

LAPD Tesla (Facebook)

The Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) is testing $105,000 Tesla Model S as a future police cruiser, in another sign of California’s commitment to subsidize “green” jobs and provide luxury to public employees.

Despite regularly winning the award over the last decade for having the highest poverty rate of the 25 largest metropolitan areas in the United States, the Los Angeles Police Department Administrator Vartan Yegiyan told CNBC that the LAPD is evaluating Tesla’s Model S luxury car, “not only on the regular transportation side, but also [for] the future in the high-pursuit-rated vehicle arena.”

The average national cost for a “Ford Police Interceptor” with all-wheel drive is about $27,000, plus $5,000 for a specialized police package that includes protective screens. The 4-door Explorer Sport Utility Vehicle has 3.7 liter engine that gets about 16 miles per gallon in the city and 21 miles per gallon on the road. AutoBlog awarded the car for “Overall Quality – Mechanical” its top rank of 4.5 points on a 5-point total scale.

The Interceptor can go from 0-60 miles per hour in an industry-fastest 5.66 seconds, compared to the 6.04 seconds for the 5.7 liter Dodge Charger with Hemi power and optional all-wheel-drive, and the 6.01 seconds for the Chevrolet Caprice with the 6.0 liter V8 engine.

But L.A. Mayor Eric Garcetti has said he is committed to leasing 160 pure battery EV vehicles – to be used by the LAPD, Los Angeles City Fire, General Services and LADWP – to replace aging Ford Crown Victoria cruisers, giving Los Angeles the largest city-owned EV fleet in the country.

With the Los Angeles’ police force having expanded two years ago to 10,000, the department currently operates only 23 electric scooters and 3 electric motorcycles for use by patrol officers.

LAPD has been testing a Tesla Model S P85D on loan from the company’s Fremont factory since September.  The car’s list price is $105,000 and can go from 0 to 60 miles per hour in a lightning 2.8 seconds, if retrofitted with a $5,000 “Ludicrous” battery upgrade, according to Tesla.

With the Tesla costing about 3.2 times the amount of the Ford, it will cost the city about $11.7 million to upgrade 160 police cruisers to the Model S over the Explorer to honor Garcetti’s commitment for the city to begin “building out” its electric vehicle fleet.

The California Policy Center estimates that the full cost for wages, benefits and defined-benefit pension each year for a sheriff or police officer is $187,532. To honor his sustainable energy commitment and buy Teslas, Mayor Garcetti would need to terminate about 63 police officers.


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