Law enforcement agencies across the country are using EVs for both admin and patrol duties, as they learn more about the technology. - Photo: Government Fleet

Law enforcement agencies across the country are using EVs for both admin and patrol duties, as they learn more about the technology.

Photo: Government Fleet

Like many other public sector fleets, law enforcement agencies are eyeing alternative fuels to power their vehicles. Government Fleet has a roundup of recent news involving electric law enforcement vehicles, including:

  • Upfitter Unveils Tesla Cybertruck Patrol Vehicle
  • California PD Begins EV Patrol Vehicle Pilot Program
  • Kentucky PD Opts for EVs to Replace Aging Vehicles

Upfitter Unveils Tesla Cybertruck Patrol Vehicle

A Tesla Cybertruck is shown, upfitted with police equipment. Red and blue lights, as well as a spotlight, are engaged.

UP.FIT is taking Cybertruck Next-Gen Patrol orders now with deliveries as early as late 2024.

Photo: UP.FIT

UP.FIT, a fleet upfitter out of California and division of Unplugged Performance, has rolled out its vision for a police-ready Tesla Cybertruck. 

According to a news release, the Tesla Cybertruck Next-Gen Patrol vehicle is ready for use by public safety officials everywhere. UP.FIT noted that the vehicle design has garnered interest from agencies across the country.

While Tesla does not offer a patrol-ready model, many fleets are experimenting with Teslas on their fleets for both patrol and administrative use.

“The UP.FIT Cybertruck Next-Gen Patrol vehicle represents a significant engineering leap into the future and we’re excited to offer law enforcement agencies the future of policing.” Unplugged Performance CEO Ben Schaffer said. “We’ve been thrilled with the direct feedback from police departments that have participated in our Cybertruck development and we look forward to deploying these complete UP.FIT vehicles to law enforcement agencies across the nation this year.”

The UP.FIT Cybertruck combines Tesla’s electric vehicle technology with Unplugged Performance’s expertise in vehicle modification and adaptation to deliver a turn-key solution for law enforcement agencies.

The package features a suite of warning lights, sirens, a PA system, as well as upgraded radio and computer systems thanks to specialized wiring systems and proprietary integrations.

UP.FIT Cybertruck can also be customized for tactical, military or search and rescue missions with available:

  • Prisoner partitions
  • Weapon and specialty tool storage
  • K-9 enclosures
  • Upgraded vehicle dynamics with specialized UP.FIT Forged wheel and tire packages, and braking systems
  • Optional upgrades for extreme off-road usage
  • Starlink internet connectivity
The rear of a Tesla Cybertruck is shown, upfitted with police equipment. Red and blue lights are engaged.

The package features a suite of warning lights, sirens, a PA system, as well as upgraded radio and computer systems thanks to specialized wiring systems and proprietary integrations.

Photo: UP.FIT

UP.FIT is taking Cybertruck Next-Gen Patrol orders now with deliveries as early as late 2024.

California PD Begins EV Patrol Vehicle Pilot Program

Photo: Anaheim Police Department

Photo: Anaheim Police Department

The Anaheim, California, Police Department has rolled out a pilot program to test the Tesla Model Y as a patrol vehicle. While the pilot will serve as a test for EV technology, it could also help the agency meet a need to find easily available vehicles for its fleet.

“Due to our patrol vehicle shortage, we had to seek out alternative vehicle options, which led us to explore utilizing Teslas as police vehicles,” Anaheim Police Chief Rick Armendariz said. “We are enhancing public safety for Anaheim by getting patrol vehicles into service faster."

According to a news release, national supply chain issues, aging patrol vehicles, and delivery delays of newly purchased patrol cars have caused a significant vehicle shortage in the department's fleet.

When the department sought out a creative way to quickly acquire patrol cars, Tesla presented a unique opportunity to procure six Model Ys from available inventory and upfit them for patrol duty through their associated vendor, UP.FIT.

The agency chose the Model Y for its features like rapid acceleration, ample storage capacity, affordability, and low maintenance requirements, all of which are integral to police operations.

With forward-thinking technology and safety features, in addition to a supercharging network throughout the city, the vehicles will enable officers to respond quickly to incidents.

Throughout the pilot program, officers will closely monitor the performance, reliability, and cost-effectiveness of the Model Y in various operational settings. Data collected will help guide future decisions regarding the integration of electric vehicles into the department's fleet.

Check out the video below for a look at the vehicles in the pilot program.

Kentucky PD Opts for EVs to Replace Aging Vehicles

A black Tesla Model 3 with a decal that says 'Newport Police' is parked.

Newport PD is looking into using Tesla Model Ys for patrol use. Its Model 3s will be used for mostly administrative work. 

Photo: Newport Police Department

The Newport, Kentucky, Police Department is adding three new vehicles to its fleet to replace aging ones. Capt. Kevin Drohan told Government Fleet that the department just received three base Tesla Model 3s.

The agency needed to replace a few Ford Crown Victorias and older Dodge Charger Pursuit vehicles that were still on the fleet. When the price of internal combustion engine pursuit-rated vehicles skyrocketed in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, the department was looking for an affordable EV option to replace them.

The options were to replace one or two vehicles by purchasing a few new ICE vehicles, or passing down cars with considerably low mileage and purchasing EVs. After doing considerable research for about a year, the agency chose the Model 3 since Tesla lowered the price on the vehicle, and there was greater availability for it than other EVs.

The vehicles are assigned to three staff members who live nearby, who will be able to utilize chargers at the police department. Drohan estimates the vehicles will cost about $15 per month to charge each vehicle.

Drohan said the vehicles were an easy adjustment, with drivers taking only about 20 minutes to learn how to use regenerative braking.

A black unmarked Tesla Model 3 sits in a parking lot, charging.

The vehicles are assigned to three staff members who live nearby, who will be able to utilize chargers at the police department. The vehicles are each expected to cost about $15 per month to charge.

Photo: Newport Police Department

Two of the vehicles are unmarked and are outfitted with lights and sirens. The third is marked and is outfitted with a roof-mounted light bar and a siren. All three vehicles will mostly be used for administrative duties. None of them are equipped with mobile data terminals. 

Because of the size of the vehicles, the team realized it could not put prisoner transport cages in the back of the Model 3. The agency is reseraching the Model Y for patrol use, and has learned of agencies that have installed transport cages in the model.

"The key is obtaining a level 3 fast charger, hopefully by a grant. Our officers work 12-hour days, so they must be able to charge and get back on the road quickly," Drohan said.

Newport PD has a take-home fleet for all officers who live within a 15-mile radius, with limited exceptions for certain divisions.

About the author
Christy Grimes

Christy Grimes

Senior Editor

Christy Grimes is a Senior Editor at Bobit, working on Automotive Fleet and Government Fleet publications. She has also written for School Bus Fleet.

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