Tesla Police Cars

The Best Police Vehicle


Are you considering a TESLA for your police / security / municipal fleet?
Now in 2023 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 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
Existing Tesla Police Vehicles
Community Benefits
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 -

* 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.

IIHS - Model 3 Top Safety Pick+
Tesla Model Y achieves highest possible IIHS safety rating

Model 3 crash test Model Y crash test

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


Police-specific Benefits

Tesla vehicles are known for their high performance, with fast acceleration and responsive handling. This makes them well-suited for pursuits and other high-speed situations. In addition, Tesla's autopilot feature could potentially be used in certain tactical scenarios to reduce the risk to officers. Here is a list of some key points that uniquely benefit police forces:

  1. Built-in Dashcam: which operates even when vehicle is off. This "Sentry Mode" (while parked) and dashcam (while driving) covers a 360-degree view around the vehicle using four cameras, including to the sides.
  2. Storage: Teslas have more storage areas than similar-sized vehicles, including a "frunk" and a sub-trunk. This allows more equipment to be effectively carried, 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.
  4. Charging at the station:Charging while vehicle is not in use saves fueling time, allowing more time for patrol. This may eliminate a fuel trip at the beginning or end of every shift.
  5. High Performance: Last but not least, Tesla vehicles are known for their high performance, which can be beneficial for police departments that require fast and agile 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 box 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 savings will pay back over time.

2) At fast-charging stations, AKA Tesla Superchargers. If you have any of these red-and-white units in your area, they can be used for a much faster charge in certain scenarios.

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

Charging Plug
Charging Plug


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 less maintenance. This can result in lower maintenance costs for police departments, which can save money in the long run.
  3. 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 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 also don't undergo the extreme stresses, vibrations, 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: 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 overall vehicle budget of the police force, allowing additional 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.
  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 vehicle-to-pedestrian incidents.


Existing Tesla Police Vehicles

Teslas are already being used by many forward-looking police departments. Here are some examples:
Westport, Connecticut Police:
Tesla Police Car Ride Along Detailed tour of Westport CT Police Model 3
Fremont, California Police:
Fremont 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

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


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.


Final Conclusions

More and more police forces are choosing Tesla.   Utilizing electric vehicles requires a change of mindset which can be hard to overcome, but the benefits are numerous.   Most concerns against electric vehicles are outdated or misinformed - hopefully this guide has dispelled some myths.  

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.  


Feedback, Questions, or do you have a Tesla specific police product you want to be added to the Vendor list? Email us: teslapolicecar@gmail.com
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