Why Tesla Model S was rejected as LAPD police cruiser

Article by Andrew Christian, on May 24, 2016

The Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) has been working towards the protection of Mother Nature. In fact, the government of Los Angeles is slowly making progress by turning their police fleet into environment friendly rangers. That’s right. To combat crime as well as pollution within the city, the Los Angeles government is planning on leasing 160 electric vehicles where 100 of these are to be used by the LAPD.

They have already purchased 23 electric scooters and three electric motorcycles for the LAPD patrol officers and just recently, has leased a Tesla Model S P85D and BMW i3. The two “special loaners” will be used by LAPD technical experts to test the efficiency of this technology in supporting the department’s “future needs”. The BMW i3 is already a very interesting choice for a police mobile, but the Model S is what catches the most attention.

Packed with 691 horsepower coming from its electric motor, Tesla’s Model S P85D is a stunner. It’s actually 221 horsepower on the front and 470 horsepower on the rear wheels providing the Model S P85D a four-wheel drive. More so, its engine can produce 686 lb.-ft. of torque which makes driving a P85D akin to that of a sports car in the lowest gear but revving with the torque at its peak. It is capable of reaching 60 mph in 3.2 seconds but with the Ludicrous mode, the P85D can sprint from 0 to 60 in a matter of 2.8 seconds. That’s quick enough to catch those speeding Ferraris and Porsches. The Model S P85D has been built around the mantra that “waiting is for suckers” thus its incredible power and speed. If it were up to us, this would be an almost-perfect police mobile. The LAPD would probably have to make way for more recruits if this becomes its official vehicle.

Unfortunately, as much as our loyal LAPD officers would like to have a hand at driving the Model S P85D, the department just couldn’t afford it. Right now, the Model S P85D is sold at $120,000 while the standard Ford Police Interceptor Utility costs $31,175. That’s almost a hundred dollars difference in the prices and bet that’ll be more than enough to buy a year’s supply of donuts for our loyal officers. The Model S P85D is promising but unlike the Dubai police, LAPD just doesn’t have the budget for a supercar fleet.

Moreover, there are also limitations in the range and charge time of the Model S P85D. These factors greatly impact police work since police mobiles are on call and must be ready for action at all times. It’ll be quite embarrassing if the car makes an abrupt stop in the middle of a hot pursuit with a Ferrari because it doesn’t have enough power to make one more lap. Until Tesla makes an affordable P85D with an extended range, we’ll put this thing on hold on our police-issued EV fleet list.

Mayor Eric Garcetti is firm with his plans in making Los Angeles the most sustainable city in America. Getting pure EVs on the city’s police fleet is the first step in making this dream a reality; which also makes Los Angeles the largest city to own a pure EV fleet. Although it’s a bit tough to get themselves the perfect EV fleet on a tight budget, let’s just hope that the city finds a better alternative to Tesla’s Model S P85D. For now, the current police mobiles are still capable of doing its duty so no pressure, Mister Mayor.

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