The City of Fremont, Calif., home of the Tesla manufacturing plant, may deploy the country’s first Tesla patrol car. The Fremont Police Department bought a used 2014 Tesla Model S 85 last year and is in the process of equipping it with a light var, push bumper, ballistic barriers, and other police equipment.
The car cost the agency about $60,000 — a significantly higher price tag than a standard patrol vehicle. But it expects to save big on fuel — a FPD patrol car generally uses $30,000 worth of gas and $15,000 for maintenance over its five-year lifetime. This electric vehicle should come with cost savings, maintenance savings, and a longer lifecycle.
Fremont PD has spent $4,447 to get the vehicle patrol-ready, and that amount is expected to increase once final invoices come in, according to a city press release. The Tesla Model S will replace a 2007 Dodge Charger that has reached the end of its life cycle. The city chose the Tesla because it is the only electric vehicle that met the size, performance, battery range, and safety specifications for patrol vehicles. In addition, Tesla vehicles are manufactured in the city.
To support the the new addition, the city's police complex has solar carport structures installed on-site and three charging stations.
Fremont isn’t the first police agency to deploy a Tesla — the Denver Police Department has used a 2013 Tesla Model S 60 as a community outreach vehicle since 2017, according to its Facebook page. But Fremont's may be the first Tesla patrol car in the U.S. when it is ready for use in a month.
Editor's Note: This story was updated on Jan. 30 with more information from a city press release and a photo of the vehicle.