The LAPD Just Can't Quit the Idea of Electric Patrol Cars

Steph Willems
by Steph Willems
the lapd just cant quit the idea of electric patrol cars

The Los Angeles Police Department loves the idea of Tesla patrol cars so much, it’s rekindling a dream it put on ice earlier this year.

The city’s coffers haven’t suddenly become flush with cash, and a previous testing cycle saw the LAPD cross the automaker off its list of potential electric vehicle suppliers. Still, it looks like the idea of a black-and-white Tesla Model S with Ludicrous Mode is just too great to pass up.

According to NBC Los Angeles, the LAPD will test a Model S as a patrol car. This, despite the department handing back two Model S P85D demonstration vehicles earlier this year with the complaint that they are simply too expensive. It greened its fleet with a crop of BMW i3s for non-emergency use instead.

One of those two vehicles saw a LAPD paint job, but it remained stock and neither went to work patrolling the mean streets of the City of Angels. This time, the force plans to install the full gamut of cop hardware, non-electric shotgun and rack included. Once outfitted, the vehicle goes to work.

Vartan Yegiyan, assistant commander of the LAPD’s Administrative Services Bureau, claims the vehicle should be on the road next year. Assigned to an on-duty sergeant, the Model S will respond to emergencies, and, if the situation calls for it, chase perps. That’s a copter-filmed pursuit we’d like to see.

There’s few vehicles on the road today that can challenge the Tesla’s acceleration, but cost remains an issue. A well-equipped Model S P90D carries a $114,500 cash price. Move up to the longer range P100D and the sticker soars to $134,500. Ford and Dodge needn’t be worried about losing law enforcement market share any time soon.

However, the LAPD is serious about adding tailpipe-free vehicles to its patrol fleet. The department predicts another five years will pass before EVs make it into that fleet.

[Image: © 2016 Kevin McCauley/The Truth About Cars]

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  • APaGttH APaGttH on Oct 19, 2016

    Best Photoshop, ever

  • Lorenzo Lorenzo on Oct 20, 2016

    Quick acceleration is meaningless. Most chases are not high speed, and involve multiple police cars and a police helicopter keeping the perp in sight, even after he/she/it abandons the vehicle. You can't outrun the radio, or hide from the eye in the sky. Where there IS an interaction between police car and chasee, the police are not shy about ramming and blocking with their own vehicles, so more relatively cheap, disposable patrol cars makes more sense than a few high pursuit vehicles, especially in a city with the population and traffic of Los Angeles. There might be a modest cost saving over fuel costs, especially since the City of Los Angeles owns its own municipal electric company, but that savings is lost when the vehicles become more expensive to buy. My gut reaction is that higher-ups in city government and the police department are pushing electric cars, not the patrolmen on the beat.

  • Paul Mezhir As awful as the styling was on these cars, they were beautifully assembled and extremely well finished for the day. The doors closed solidly, the ride was extremely quiet and the absence of squeaks and rattles was commendable. As for styling? Everything's beautiful in it's own way.....except for the VI's proportions were just odd: the passenger compartment and wheelbase seemed to be way too short, especially compared to the VI sedan. Even the short-lived Town Coupe had much better proportions. None of the fox-body Lincolns could compare to the beautiful proportions of the Mark was the epitome of long, low, sleek and elegant. The proportions were just about perfect from every angle.
  • ToolGuy Silhouetting yourself on a ridge like that is an excellent way to get yourself shot ( Skylining)."Don't you know there's a special military operation on?"
  • ToolGuy When Farley says “like the Millennium Falcon” he means "fully updatable" and "constantly improving" -- it's right there in the Car and Driver article (and makes perfect sense).
  • Master Baiter New slogan in the age of Ford EVs:FoundOnRoadDischarged
  • Albert Also owned a 1959 Continental Mark IV coupe for 20 years and loved every minute!