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Tesla Model Y: Menlo Park To Transition to Fully-Electric Police Fleet by 2023

As per the latest news coming from California, Menlo Park City Council has just approved the purchase of Teslas Model Y for its police fleet. Menlo Park is home to the corporate headquarters of Meta and Google.

As Kate Bradshaw reported for the almanac, "…as part of a move to curb the city's carbon footprint, the Menlo Park City Council recently agreed to purchase a number of new hybrid and electric vehicles for the city's police and public works departments. Part of that project involves the purchase of three new Model Y Teslas to shape a police department electric vehicle pilot program."

She also reported that "…the council voted 3-2 on Oct. 26, with council members Jen Wolosin and Cecilia Taylor opposed, to replace existing six gas-powered police vehicles with hybrid Ford Mustang Mach-E vehicles and make a number of public works vehicle purchases at a cost of about $1.6 million."

Drive Tesla had first published the story a week or so ago.

Now, Menlo Park is no ordinary place: located at the eastern edge of San Mateo County within the San Francisco Bay Area of California, it is bordered by San Francisco Bay on the north and east; East Palo Alto, Palo Alto, and Stanford to the south; and Atherton, North Fair Oaks, and Redwood City to the west. It is one of the most educated cities in California and the United States; nearly 70% of residents over 25 have earned a bachelor's degree or higher. It had 32,026 residents at the 2010 United States Census, and an estimated 34,698 by 2019; it is also home to the corporate headquarters of Meta, and is where Google and Round Table Pizza were founded.

Tesla Model Y, Courtesy of Tesla Inc.

Much of Menlo Park's economy revolves around the companies on Sand Hill Road, consisting of venture capital, private equity, financial services, law firms, and other professional service companies and investment vehicles focusing on technology. Geron, Katerra, Robert Half International, Exponent, and SRI International are among the companies based in Menlo Park. Meta moved its headquarters to the former campus of Sun Microsystems in Menlo Park in December 2011.

"Currently, about 76% of the city's fleet is powered with gas and renewable diesel, 20% is hybrid and 4% is electric. The switch would bump up the number of the city's hybrid vehicles to 27 from 22 and electric vehicles to 9 from 5 and drop the total number of gas or renewable diesel-powered vehicles to 80 from 85", according to Kate Bradshaw.

Tesla Model Y, Courtesy of Tesla Inc.

Menlo Park city stated in a staff report that “...transitioning to all-electric police patrol vehicles by 2023 is ambitious and aggressive for a small city, but the Police department is prepared for the rapid transition by piloting three Tesla Y patrol vehicles and developing an internal team to lead the transition over the next two years.”

“For Menlo Park’s pilot program, city staff recommends purchasing three Tesla Model Y due to the size, range and purchase price. The approximate cost of a completed Model Y would be approximately $115,000 (Attachment A), which includes the purchase price and police modifications. For reference, a Tesla Model S has a range up to 405 miles, but the purchase price starts from $89,990 (not including police modifications)”, as per the same staff report.

Back in September this year, Fremont Police announced that it would be deploying Tesla Model Y patrol cars by October 1st.

According to (Andrew Rothman, former Police Reporter) the (federal) Bureau of Justice Statistics, back in 2003, there were 44–66 cars per 100 officers. In 2008, the BJS estimated that there were about 800,000 sworn officers. If that number and the ratio above it hold true, there are probably something on the order of 400,000 police cars in the United States.

What do you think? Should your local police department switch to EVs? If so, what kind of EVs? Would Tesla Model Y be a good fit? Let us know in the comment section below.

All images courtesy of Tesla Inc.

Nico Caballero is the VP of Finance of Cogency Power, specializing in solar energy. He also holds a Diploma in Electric Cars from Delft University of Technology in the Netherlands, and enjoys doing research about Tesla and EV batteries. He can be reached at @NicoTorqueNews on Twitter. Nico covers Tesla and electric vehicle latest happenings at Torque News.