Tesla Police Cars

The Best Police Vehicle: Tesla

Are you considering a TESLA for your police, security, or municipal fleet?
In 2024 you would be doing a disservice to your organization if you didn't consider an electric vehicle.   While many electric vehicles could be good options for specific applications, we believe Tesla vehicles provide the overall highest degree of performance, safety, reliability, and charging capability.   This presentation is to provide decision makers and decision influencers with information to help make an informed decision, and help present that information to others.  

This is a guide to summarize key points and to provide resources that will enable continued research.   We encourage you to continue this journey and deep-dive into topics that are of greatest concern to you.  

Table of Contents
The Best Police Vehicle
Tesla Performance Data
Safety Benefits
Police-specific Benefits
Charging & Range
Cost & Savings
Service & Warranty
Community Benefits
Existing Tesla Police Vehicles
Aftermarket Products and Vendors
Final Conclusions


Tesla Performance Data

Model 3 (Sedan) & Model Y (SUV) *
  Model 3 Performance:Model 3 RWD:
0-60 mph: 3.1 sec 5.8 sec
Top Speed: 162 mph 140mph
Lateral acceleration: 0.96 g (9 m/s²) -
Braking 62-0 mph: 110 ft -
Turning Circle: 38 ft 38 ft
Drive: AWD RWD
Best Use: Patrol / Pursuit Patrol / Admin
  Model Y Performance:Model Y Long Range:
0-60 mph: 3.5 sec 4.8 sec
Top Speed: 155 mph 135 mph
Lateral acceleration: 0.95 g (9 m/s²) -
Braking 62-0 mph: 117 ft -
Turning Circle: 40 ft 40 ft
Drive: AWD AWD
Best Use: Patrol / Pursuit Patrol / Admin

* Data as of January 2023. Performance will vary with tire choice and conditions.

Tesla's acceleration is instantaneous - being an electric vehicle, it's never in the wrong gear or at the wrong RPM. You never wait for an engine to rev up or a turbo to spool up. When you step on the accelerator it responds immediately, from any speed - unlike anything else.


Safety Benefits

Teslas are among the safest cars in the world. The Tesla Model 3 achieved a "Good" rating (the highest rating) in all six IIHS crash tests. It achieved "Superior" ratings for vehicle-to-vehicle and vehicle-to-pedestrian crash avoidance, and an Advanced rating for vehicle-to-pedestrian avoidance. Both the Model 3 and Model Y are IIHS Top Safety Pick+ rated, the highest rating possible. The Model Y also received the highest ever Euro NCAP rating.

IIHS - Model 3 Top Safety Pick+
Tesla Model Y achieves highest possible IIHS safety rating
Tesla Model Y Gets Highest Safety Score Ever In European Test

Model 3 crash test Model Y crash test

Police officers have a dangerous job, they deserve to drive the safest vehicles on the road.


Police-specific Benefits

Here are some key Tesla features that may uniquely benefit police forces:

  1. Built-in 360° Cameras: operate even when vehicle is off. This "Sentry Mode" (while parked) and dashcam (while driving) covers a 360° view around the vehicle using four cameras. Video of incidents can be automatically saved to a USB drive by the push of a button.

    While sitting in the vehicle you can display the rear and side cameras to have a view of all surroundings for the best situational awareness.
    Camera views in a Tesla
  2. Storage: Teslas have more storage areas than similar-sized vehicles, including a "frunk" (front trunk) and a sub-trunk compartment below the regular trunk. This allows much more equipment to be carried for a given size vehicle, and the weight is carried low in the vehicle as to not affect performance.
  3. Quiet operation: The reduced noise output - nearly silent - may provide a tactical advantage in certain scenarios. This also makes the vehicles less of a disturbance to the community at all hours of the day, even under hard acceleration.
  4. Charging at the police station: Charging while the vehicle is not in use saves fueling time, it takes just seconds to plug in. This may eliminate a fuel trip at the beginning or end of every shift, allowing more time for patrol.
  5. Security: Teslas have additional security features which can be enabled such as:

    1) PIN-to-Drive requires a 4 digit PIN to be entered before the vehicle will shift into Drive or Reverse - securing the vehicle from unauthorized use even when it's unlocked and open.

    2) With the Glovebox PIN settings, you can keep paperwork or small items in the glovebox secured as well. The glovebox will not open without entering the code.

    3) Prevent backseat passengers from exiting the vehicle with the push of two buttons - Child lock and Window lock are easily accessible in the main menu.
    Child Lock and Window Lock controls
  6. Advanced Climate Controls: There are options to "Keep Climate On" when you depart the vehicle, keeping the cabin cool on hot days, or warm on cold days, for when an officer returns to the vehicle. Also this can be used if there are other passengers in the vehicle even if the driver exits. This is done, of course, without burning gas while idling a traditional combustion engine, and maintains the security of the vehicle as mentioned above.
  7. High Performance: Last but not least, Tesla vehicles are known for their high performance, with instant response and a low center of gravity, which can be beneficial for police departments that require fast, agile, stable vehicles to respond to emergencies quickly.


Charging & Range

This area is generally one of the largest concerns, mostly due to a change in process from what people are used to with combustion engines. People are unfamiliar with the terminology and concepts around charging and may be resistant to learn new methodologies. However, once the process is familiar and adopted, you will enjoy many benefits.

Charging can be done in two ways:

1) At the police station, using an EVSE (or "Destination Charger") which is the device that safely provides AC power to the car. There are numerous devices from portable ones, to wall-mount, to bollard mount. We recommend 240 volt or 208 volt power, of at least 40 amps (requiring a 50 amp circuit) for each vehicle you need to charge in parallel. This is the primary method you should plan to use. While an up-front investment is required to install the circuits and stations, the fuel savings will pay back over time.

2) At fast-charging stations, AKA Tesla Superchargers. These red-and-white chargers are very prevalent throughout the US, and they can be used for a much faster charge as needed. The Tesla Supercharger network is so good that numerous other auto manufacturers have decided to transition to the Tesla connector, now called NACS (North American Charging Standard).

What Range Should You Expect?

As a most basic way of estimating, assume that you will achieve 70% - 80% of the stated EPA range rating of the vehicle. E.g., currently a Model Y Long Range has an EPA range estimate of 330 miles. In practice, you may achieve a real-world range of 230 - 265 miles per charge. This number can fluctuate with driving style, ambient conditions, idle time, and tire/wheel combinations.

Factors that can improve range:
Low speed, easy acceleration, mid-to-warm temperatures

Factors that can diminish range:
Cold temperatures, sustained high speeds (70+ mph), aggressive driving, extreme hot temperatures
EVSE / Destination Charger
EVSE / Destination Charger
Tesla Supercharger up close

Tesla Charge Port
Charging Plug
Tesla Supercharger Station
Tesla Supercharger Station


Cost & Savings (Total Cost of Ownership)

Generally speaking, you can expect your charging costs to be approximately 1/3 the cost of gasoline (conservatively). Gas prices fluctuate wildly over time, and electricity costs can vary by region.

There are several ways in which the lower total cost of ownership of a Tesla vehicle can benefit police departments:

  1. Lower Fuel Costs: Tesla vehicles are electric, which means they do not require gasoline or diesel to run. This can result in significant savings for police departments, as they typically operate their vehicles for many hours each day with high idle times. With lower fuel costs, police departments can allocate their budgets towards other important areas.
  2. Lower Maintenance Costs: Tesla vehicles have fewer moving parts than traditional gas-powered vehicles, which means they require much less maintenance. For example, Teslas have regenerative braking that will stop the vehicle in most casual driving situations without wearing down the brake pads. There are no oil changes, no fuel system, no belts, no ignition system, no exhaust system, no intake air filter. This can result in lower maintenance costs for police departments, which can save money in the long run.
  3. More Time In Use: Because of the reduced maintenance, this also means that the Tesla vehicle will be more available for use and will spend less time in the shop being serviced.
  4. Longer Lifespan: Tesla vehicles are built to last and have a longer lifespan than traditional gas-powered vehicles. This means that police departments can keep their vehicles on the road for longer periods of time, which can save money on replacement costs.

Overall, the total cost of ownership of a Tesla vehicle can be lower than that of a traditional gas-powered vehicle. This can result in significant savings over time for police departments, allowing them to allocate their budgets towards other important areas such as community programs, training, and equipment upgrades.


Service & Warranty

In general, electric vehicles like the Tesla Model Y have fewer maintenance needs compared to traditional gasoline-powered cars like the Ford Explorer. Unlike gasoline cars, Tesla vehicles require no traditional oil changes, fuel filters, spark plug replacements or emission checks. Here's a comparison of their maintenance schedules:

Tesla Model Y:
Ford Explorer:

As you can see, the Tesla Model Y requires fewer routine maintenance tasks, mainly due to its simpler electric drivetrain. Electric cars have fewer moving parts that can wear out over time, such as belts, exhaust systems, and spark plugs. Importantly, electric drivetrains don't undergo the extreme stresses, vibrations, surges, and high temperatures that combustion engines produce. This translates to reduced maintenance costs for Tesla vehicles, as well as less time spent at the mechanic.

The benefits of reduced maintenance in a Tesla are twofold: cost and convenience. Without the need for frequent fluid changes and other routine maintenance tasks, Teslas can save money over the lifetime of the vehicle. Additionally, you don't have to worry about scheduling and taking their car in for maintenance as often, which can take cars off of routine patrol for long periods.

Moreover, the electric drivetrain in a Tesla is generally more reliable and durable than a traditional gasoline engine, further reducing the chances of unexpected breakdowns and costly repairs. In summary, reduced maintenance requirements are one of the many benefits of owning an electric vehicle like a Tesla Model Y.

Warranty Information:

Model 3 Rear Wheel Drive:
8 years or 100,000 miles, whichever comes first, with minimum 70% retention of Battery capacity over the warranty period.

Model 3 Performance, Model Y Performance, Model Y Long Range:
8 years or 120,000 miles, whichever comes first, with minimum 70% retention of Battery capacity over the warranty period.


Community Benefits

A Tesla vehicle can benefit others in the local community in several ways, including:

  1. Reducing air pollution: Police vehicles often spend a long time "idling". Tesla vehicles are electric and emit no tailpipe emissions, which means they can help to reduce air pollution in the local community. This is particularly important in densely populated urban areas where air pollution can have a negative impact on health. Zero emissions vehicles are compatible with the goals of public safety. This can also help police departments to meet their sustainability goals and reduce their impact on the environment.
  2. Economic benefits: The reduction in operational costs & total costs of ownership show responsible use of taxpayer money. This also helps in the long run to reduce the vehicle budget of the police force, allowing more funds to be spent on additional training, community outreach programs, and more.
  3. Noise reduction: Electric vehicles like Teslas are significantly quieter than vehicles with traditional internal combustion engines. This means that they can help to reduce noise pollution in the local community, which can be particularly beneficial in residential areas.
  4. Supporting local clean energy: Teslas, like all EVs, can be charged using clean energy sources like solar panels, which can help to support the growth of local clean energy infrastructure. This can also help to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and other harmful pollutants. The electric grid continues to get cleaner over time as a result of the decline of coal power and as renewable energy continues to provide a larger portion of electricity overall.
  5. Safety: Teslas are equipped with a variety of advanced safety features, including autonomous driving and driver assist capabilities, which can help to reduce the number of accidents on local roads and improve overall road safety in the community. Specifically, Tesla vehicles have highly rated Pedestrian Warning Systems and Collision Avoidance Systems which will reduce the frequency and severity of vehicle-to-pedestrian incidents.


Existing Tesla Police Vehicles

Teslas are already being used by many forward-looking police forces throughout the United States. Here is a list of police departments who have started to use Teslas in their fleet:
Westport, Connecticut Police:
Tesla Police Car Ride Along Detailed tour of Westport CT Police Model 3
Westport was one of the first police departments in the country to begin using Teslas.
Fremont, California Police:
Fremont, CA Police Tesla Model Y
Fremont Police Tesla Model Y
Monmouth, Oregon
Monmouth Police Department received its first fully electric cruiser
Monmouth Police gets state's
first electric cruiser
New York, NY Police (NYPD)
New York Police Department Tesla Model 3
NYPD buys Tesla Model 3 and
turns it into an electric patrol vehicle
Clinton Township, Ohio
Clinton Township OH Police Tesla
Ohio's Clinton Township PD Goes Electric
with Two Tesla Model Ys & a Model 3
Eden Prarie, Minnesota
Eden Prairie Police Department has added a fully electrical vehicle to its patrol fleet
Eden Prairie Police Department
adds Tesla to patrol fleet
Logan, Ohio
City of Logan Police Department Tesla Model Y
First Tesla Model Y Police Vehicle
Delivered In Logan, Ohio
Central Washington University
CWU Police Expect Tesla Patrol Car to Save on Fuel, Maintenance, and Emissions
CWU Police Expect Tesla Patrol Car to
Save on Fuel, Maintenance, and Emissions
Cayce, South Carolina
Palmetto State police department Tesla Model 3
Tesla Model 3 Enters Service at
Cayce Police Dept in South Carolina
Travelers Rest, South Carolina
Travelers Rest Tesla Police Car
Travelers Rest Police Department adds
Tesla Model Y to fleet of patrol vehicles
Hallandale Beach, Florida
Hallandale Beach Police Tesla Fleet
Hallandale Beach Police added
13 Tesla Model Y vehicles to its fleet
Somerset, Wisconsin
Somerset Police Department Tesla Model Y
The Tesla Model Y will Save
Somerset PD $84,000 Over 10 Years
Bargersville, Indiana
Bargersville Police Department Tesla Model Y
Largest Tesla Police car fleet
adds Tesla Model Y K-9 Unit

Huntington Beach, California
Huntington Beach Police Department are the first in California to use Tesla Model Ys as patrol vehicles

Dallas County, Texas
Dallas County to buy 3 Tesla electric vehicles for county fleet

Cary, North Carolina
Cary Police Department adds two new Tesla Model Y cruisers to fleet

Venice, Florida
Venice adds three Teslas to fleet, one to be used by the police

Menlo Park, California
Menlo Park Police Department Implements Tesla Patrol Vehicles

Linn Creek, Missouri
Tiny Missouri town first in state to have Tesla electric police cruiser

South Pasadena, California
California Police Department Dumping Its Gas Cruisers for Modded Teslas

Leawood, Kansas
Kansas Police Department Adds Tesla Model Y To Fleet

This list is getting too long to maintain...


Aftermarket Products and Vendors

Many of your existing vendors provide compatible accessories for you Tesla police vehicle. However, a few vendors offer Tesla-specific solutions.

Model PD

The Future of Law Enforcement is Here. The MODEL PD is the first all electric duty ready police vehicle. The MODEL PD has been engineered for performance and safety. Built on the Tesla model Y platform, the MODEL PD has superior acceleration, expanded cargo space and unprecedented fuel economy making MODEL PD the future of policing.

Model PD Tesla Model Y
Video walk-around of the MODEL PD

Unplugged Performance

WELCOME TO NEXT GENERATION OF POLICING: COMPLETE UPFITTING SOLUTIONS FOR TESLA. With 10 years of Tesla expertise, Unplugged Performance is a One-stop solution for all hardware and software UPfitting needs including electrical, safety, lighting, charging, and technology.

Unplugged Performance Police Model Y

Whelen Lighting

Provides a police lighting package for the Tesla Model Y

Whelen Police Lighting Package for Tesla

Setina Manufacturing

Provides a push bumper for the Tesla Model Y, and has also created a Setina Tesla Model S upgrade

Setina Push Bumper

New York Police Department upfits Teslas themselves

"NYPD Fleet Services Division upfits and decals all its own pilot vehicles and one-off builds, rarely relying on outside sources." Read more here: NYPD Talks Tesla Upfitting, Safety Features
NYPD Police Model 3


Final Conclusions

As you can see, more and more police departments are choosing Tesla - and the list keeps growing.   Utilizing electric vehicles sometimes requires a change of mindset which can be hard to overcome for some, but the benefits are numerous.  

Most concerns against electric vehicles are simply outdated or misinformed. The technology is moving fast, and it's hard to keep up with Tesla's pace of innovation and improvements. What was maybe true even a year or two ago may no longer be the case - the vehicles, the EV infrastructure, and the availability of aftermarket components and support.

Tesla vehicles are more than capable of living up to police duty, with unexpected advantages that many haven't previously considered. Hopefully this guide has dispelled some myths and provided useful information. But don't just take it from us, be sure to explore the other links and videos throughout this site. Including: This Is Why Teslas Make The Best Police Cruisers

And here is some more feedback directly from Somerset PD (featured above) Police Chief Joel Trepczyk: Why the Model Y was chosen for the Police Fleet, and officer feedback.

To continue this journey, you may want to invite a Tesla gallery salesperson or Tesla owning member of the community to showcase their vehicle, or schedule a test drive for hands-on experience.