One Southern California police department is ready to go fully electric.
The city of South Pasadena’s police department is replacing its fleet of vehicles with Teslas, according to the Los Angeles Times. The switchover has already begun and is expected to be complete by the start of next year.
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The police department will reportedly lease 10 Model Y SUVs (pictured above) and 10 Model 3 sedans, which will be used for patrol, detective and administration work. Some of the battery-powered vehicles are already in use, while others still need to be properly outfitted for patrol. More than 30 charging ports are being installed at city hall, as well.
South Pasadena is leasing the EVs through Enterprise, according to the L.A. Times. Nearly $2 million in city funds, along with an additional $500,000 from a local committee working to reduce vehicle pollution in the area, has been allocated for the leasing agreement, which will run for at least five years. The price may sound steep, but the city expects to save $300,000 per vehicle on fueling and maintenance over the next decade.
“We have been investigating this transition for five to six years and determined that these electric vehicles will be the best operationally for us,” police chief Brian Solinsky said in a statement to the paper. “They are the safest and fastest vehicles and will save the city money in lower maintenance and fueling costs.”
Once all the EVs are in use, South Pasadena will become the first American city to convert to a fully electric police car fleet. The quiet suburban community—which covers 3.4 square miles and has a population of around 26,000—is “environmentally conscious” and is also taking steps to be more bike- and pedestrian-friendly.
South Pasadena’s police department will be the first battery-powered fleet, but it’s not the first to get dip its toes in electric patrol cars. The LAPD leased 100 BMW i3 EV last decade, but ended up barely using them, according to Jalopnik. Since South Pasadena’s Teslas are already on the road it sounds like things are already going much better.
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