A Southern California City Is Replacing Its Entire Police Fleet With Teslas

Tesla Model Y
Tesla Model Y

Municipal fleets across the country are trying to figure out how to go electric. Sometimes it doesn’t work out. Other fleets have already started, albeit slowly with one or two vehicles in their fleet. Others are willing to go all out and get rid of gas vehicles completely. As the L.A. Times reports, one Southern California city is doing just that, replacing its whole fleet of police vehicles with Teslas.

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The city of South Pasadena will have a fully electric police fleet by the beginning of 2024. The city has entered into a lease agreement with Enterprise to lease 20 Teslas for the next five years. The vehicles will be used for various roles, from patrol to detective and administrative work. City officials say that a few vehicles have already been in use but those that are going on patrol must be properly outfitted.

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The 20 Teslas — split between 10 Model Ys and 10 Model 3s — will be paid for by $2 million that was allocated for the leases; another $50,000 is coming from a local group that wants to help improve air quality in the region.

City officials say that they’ve been looking into transitioning to EVs for the last five to six years. Many officials are champions for EVs citing their benefits. South Pasadena police chief Brian Solinsky said in a statement that EVs “are the safest and fastest vehicles and will save the city money in lower maintenance and fueling costs.”

Another supporter is city council member Michael Cacciotti who mentioned the city’s history of being behind air quality improvements.

Councilmember Michael Cacciotti, who championed the transition to electric vehicles, said that South Pasadena had “a long history of supporting clean air vehicles and transition to clean air equipment,” citing the city’s conversion to electric lawn equipment in 2016 for city grounds and parks maintenance.

The city is installing 30 chargers for both the vehicles and the public’s use at city hall and expects the EV fleet to be fully in place by February 2024. The city looks to pocket a nice chunk of savings with the switch as well, with officials expecting to save $300,000 per vehicle over the next decade just in fuel and maintenance costs. As for the old ICE powered police vehicles? Keep an eye out as the city says those will be sold at auction.

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