Tesla Could Make The Next Generation Of Cop Cars
Scotland Yard, London, UK are in talks with Tesla CEO Elon Musk to discuss the matter of providing a more eco-friendly police vehicle for the future. Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe the chief of London’s Metropolitan Police force requires eco-friendly police vehicles to replace 700 of their 4000 cars by 2018, with a spend of over $26.5 million, with the plan of deploying 250 vehicles in the next 12 months. Sir Bernard is currently in talks with Tesla for what they can provide the Department.
“These first vehicles are a stepping stone that will allow us to build the volume over time once we have the right technology and infrastructure in place,” stated Jiggs Bharij the head of the Metropolitan Police fleet services while talking to the Evening Standard.
The city of London is already gearing up for its own electric charging network with 1,400 charging points with an expansion to 6000 by the year 2018. If the deal goes ahead with Tesla, they will also offer an array of their own superchargers within the city.
The police department are also considering other electric car makers, so it's not a completely done deal with Tesla as yet. The city police force has also tested the likes of a BMW i3 Range Extender. There have also been tests with hydrogen powered vehicles with five currently being trialled with hydrogen fuelling points through the city. Suzuki have also been linked with supplying hydrogen powered scooters to the police force.
As Tesla are gaining ground in the UK with dealerships slowly been dotted around the country, it is more than likely that the company get a foothold in UK police departments, but the rollout could be around 3 to 5 years, especially with the Model 3 being released at $35,000 which will provide a dramatic cost saving moving forward. However, the Model 3 may only have the 60 or even P85D battery pack to meet the lower retail price, which means driving range and performance will be reduced even for patrol vehicles.
Also, with the amount of police equipment used in vehicles which drains electric power, it's more likely than the higher spec models would be used. Some answers on a Quora post state that a Tesla would not make a great police car due to the above factors and the fact Tesla's suspension driveline aren't built for heavy duty use across curbs and obstacles and weight would be a big factor amongst other points.
Therefore it will be interesting to see what the final solution would be for a Tesla police vehicle if the scheme goes ahead.
Other police departments have considered Tesla vehicles as a move to more eco-friendly crime prevention, such as the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) to have tested out Model S vehicles last year, with possible vehicles hitting the street by 2017.
It's ever more likely that police departments across the board will slowly start to move to electric vehicles, not just for emissions but also for their instant torque and high-performance, which you can currently get with Tesla model top models. I'm sure the Ludicrous+ mode will be very popular, but with the caveats above, it will be interesting to see when this eventually comes into play and what the final model design will actually be like.