Leawood Police opted for a Tesla Model Y after deciding a hybrid police vehicle did not meet its needs.  -  Photo: Leawood Police Department

Leawood Police opted for a Tesla Model Y after deciding a hybrid police vehicle did not meet its needs.

Photo: Leawood Police Department

The Leawood, Kansas, Police Department purchased a Tesla Model Y electric vehicle (EV) to its fleet of patrol cars.

The department began exploring the idea of adding an EV to its fleet last year after finding that reviews for currently available hybrid patrol cars were "not favorable," according to a press release. Capt. Kirt Yoder, operations division commander for the Leawood Police Department, told Government Fleet that hybrid vehicles did not fit the department's needs.

"I ended up contacting about 10 agencies from New York to California," Yoder said. "Tesla-Kansas City was great. They were eager to help and answer all our questions."

An early cost comparison conducted over a year ago, when the city was able to purchase gas for $1.75 per gallon, showed that the current Ford Police Interceptor Utility would cost about $4,500 per year for energy costs to operate, while a Tesla, based on the 2021 cost of $0.08/kilowatt hour would cost $648 per year in energy costs.

The department's Tesla Model Y is expected to have a four-year service life, a year longer than the Ford Police Interceptor Utility it replaced. It was outfitted at Ka-Comm Inc. in Olathe, Kansas.

"I think electric vehicles are going to be the future and this is going to be a good foundation for us," Yoder said. "Some officers have concerns because this is a smaller vehicle and the extra equipment [of a patrol car] eats into their work space, but others are excited for the new technology."

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