The first police car was electric. Bought in Akron, Ohio, in 1899, the 4-horsepower electric “paddy wagon” boasted a top speed of 18 mph and a range of 30 miles. But the demands of high-speed chases and the ascent of the internal combustion engine in America made it Akron’s last.
But today police are returning to electric vehicles. Tesla’s Model S has fast become a fleet favorite, reports Electrek. The premium sedan has a 315-mile range and can accelerate from 0 to 60 MPH 2.5 seconds. Police departments in Los Angeles and Denver have added them to their stable. Luxembourg bought one and Scotland Yard is considering it. And Fremont, California, announced this week (pdf) it will be joining them. The police force for the hometown of Tesla’s factory said it is now operating a modified Model S for police patrol.
The $61,478.50 purchase is expected to save the city about $50,000 over five years in gas and maintenance (the fuel costs for a comparable Ford Ranger run about $6,400 per year), as well as slash the city’s greenhouse gas emissions by 10%. Fremont’s police have a carport solar array to recharge the vehicle battery.
The city will be testing the performance, durability, range, and cost of the vehicle once it’s deployed, alongside its fleet of three 2018 Ford Fusion Hybrid pursuit cars.