LAPD test Tesla Model S EV as emergency-response patrols
LAPD test Tesla Model S EV as emergency-response patrols. Image credit: SlashGear.

The Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) wants to start testing a Tesla electric Sedan for patrol duties, according to an official statement. The law enforcement agency is interested in this shift for environmental reasons.

The LAPD is already employing a hundred BMW i3 electric cars for non-emergency duty. For example, finding a broken window in a car (and seeing that somebody stole the radio) or reporting acts of vandalism.

Operators who handle 911 calls usually determine whether the caller’s situation consists of an emergency (requiring immediate police dispatch) or classifies as non-emergency. Patrol cars often respond to emergencies, meaning that the shift to electric could prove significant for police departments.

The LAPD will equip Tesla Model S with police gear 

LAPD officers will now patrol the streets on Tesla Model S Sedans.
LAPD officers will now patrol the streets on Tesla Model S Sedans. Image credit: Inside EVs.

Patrick Healy, an NBC correspondent in Los Angeles, reported the LAPD’s plan was to equip a Tesla sedan with ‘full police gear,’ meaning radio system, a computer, a custody cage, firearm compartments, and other modifications.

The car is part of a two-unit loan made by Tesla to the department earlier this year. One of the vehicles was painted black-and-white to resemble current LAPD patrol cars but never received any other kind of upgrade and remained solely as eye-candy for community events.

Once the car is ready, an on-duty police sergeant will test it on the field and respond to various emergencies (including, most likely, pursuing criminals) to see if the car is suitable for daily use.

The cost of going green

The LAPD acquired a hundred electric BMWs in June. The department paid $40,000 each. The Tesla Model S, however, costs $100,000 when fully upgraded.

The Department expects electric vehicle’s cost to go down as battery technology enters the mainstream, according to Vartan Yegiyan, assistant commander of the LAPD’s Administrative Services Bureau.

Yegiyan also stated that when this particular price drop happens, he wants the LAPD to be already outfitted with charging infrastructure in all precincts, and with testing experience of electric patrol cars, which is why they are conducting this current EV experiment.

NBC reached out to Tesla for comment on this subject, but the company did not respond.

Source: NBC Bay Area