LAPD to Tesla: 'Thanks, But Maybe Some Other Time'

Steph Willems
by Steph Willems
lapd to tesla 8216 thanks but maybe some other time

It was nice of Tesla founder Elon Musk to deliver a Model S P85D to the Los Angeles Police Department for testing last year, but they’re kindly going to return it. Possibly with a note under the wiper asking him to make it much cheaper.

The hyper-performing electric sedan took up residence with the LAPD (along with a BMW i3) last September, part of a research initiative that studied how EVs could fit into a future policing model.

With testing over and grades handed out, the LAPD can now say with confidence that the Model S isn’t their cup of tea. The speed was nice, but the price? This isn’t Dubai.

“Is it practical now? No,” LAPD Police Administrator Vartan Yegiyan told CNBC, adding that he expects to see the price of EVs drop in the next three to five years as technology advances.

“More models will be coming out, and the electricity and electrical grid will become more robust, and more charging stations will be available. While that’s occurring we’ll be in the space learning and contributing to the process.”

Despite offering a “Ludicrous Mode” that rockets the Model S to 60 miles per hour in 2.8 seconds, and could catch pretty much anything on wheels, police departments could buy three Ford Police Interceptor Utility models (Explorer) for the price of one Tesla.

There are other considerations for the LAPD — with the city’s hot climate, a police cruiser’s air conditioning system gets regular workouts. That, plus the officer’s computer system and other electric add-ons, would drain the battery and reduce range.

Many cities, L.A. and New York City to name just a couple, are adding EVs and plug-in hybrids to their fleets, but municipal vehicles are lighter duty, less specialized affairs. For now, police departments need a gas-powered workhorse that doesn’t break the bank.

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  • Zip89123 Zip89123 on May 13, 2016

    Other than paying for them, LAPD loved them. Folks would complain if LAPD bought Tesla's, so instead LAPD spends millions for armored vehicles, mobile command centers, and batons for black folks.

    • See 2 previous
    • Corey Lewis Corey Lewis on May 16, 2016

      @Old Man Pants Tazing is much easier, don't have to risk getting any bodily fluids on you.

  • -Nate -Nate on May 16, 2016

    FWIW ; the L.A.P.D. isn't anywhere near done with electric vehicles yet ~ they're testing BMW's tiny little thing right now and training the Mechanics because they anticipate buying a bunch of them for Metro cars , Dispatch , errands and other non patrol / chase use . . They're even saying they're going to re hab the old Central Automotive's Unit Rebuild area into a new stat of the art Electric Vehicle Training Center . . I'm glad I retired =8-) . . Anyone who thinks high speed chases are finished , lives in a cave in who givesadamnastan . . I'd love to share the photos of all the B&W wrecks but they asked me not to . . Explorers are CRAP for Patrol duty . . -Nate

  • Analoggrotto If it's not a TESLA, dont bother trying to charge it. Don't even bother with it.
  • ScarecrowRepair How much is the $ub$cription for those facing seats? How much extra to have both face backwards, or to have a button to switch the facing-in seats to face outwards when the kids' arguments get too distracting? Is there an option to be sideways facing each other?
  • Deanst We seemed to have passed peak Hyundai/Kia design appeal. There is nothing clever or appealing to the exterior - the eye is drawn to awkward and inconsistent treatments. The interior - which I’m sure has decent materials - seems to be something that might excite Lee Iacocca’s grandson. In the meantime, I question the sanity of anyone buying a $20,000 H/K vehicle with a 2 litre engine.
  • Ajla The problem with "gushing" Genesis reviews is that they seem to take place in a world where the only cars are Genesis and the 1999 Kia Sephia. Is this better than an S-Class, 7-series, LS500, A8, Lucid Air, or Panamera Executive? Or is everyone the prettiest girl in town?
  • Lou_BC Don't miss AM or FM radio at all. I don't miss satellite radio either. Spotify or downloaded content on my cell is all I need.