The Town of Westport, Conn., has added a 2020 Tesla Model 3 to its fleet, the first squad car of its kind in the state. The vehicle has been purchased and is being upfitted with police equipment, including emergency lights and siren, a computer, a weapon rack, and pursuit-ready tires. The agency hopes to get the Tesla ready for duty by the end of January 2020.
According to a Facebook post, Westport Police Chief Foti Kosinkas was primarily impressed by the Tesla Model 3’s performance, five-star crash ratings, and collision avoidance technology. The agency has no plans to use the vehicle’s Autopilot feature.
The Model 3 carried a significantly higher price tag than a usual squad car — the Tesla cost $52,590 to purchase, versus $37,000 for a Ford Police Interceptor Utility. But the agency expects to make its money back through fuel and maintenance savings. In the first three years, a squad car with an internal combustion engine costs the agency about $11,000 in maintenance alone, including oil changes, oil filters, tune-ups, and brakes. Meanwhile, the agency expects to save $13,770 in fuel in the first three years.
Additional features touted by the Westport Police Department include extra trunk space in the front of the vehicle (which will be used to store more equipment) and factory-installed cameras around the vehicle that would have had to be upfitted later on a regular squad car.