LAPD Now Testing Tesla Model S As High-Speed Pursuit Vehicle

1 year ago by Eric Loveday 40

Tesla Model S P85D - Police Edition Is Ready To Nab The Villains

Tesla Model S P85D – Police Edition Is Ready To Nab The Villains

Tesla Model S P85D Joins The LAPD

Tesla Model S P85D Joins The LAPD

Some eight months ago, the Los Angeles Police Department took possession of lots of electric vehicles as part a push to make Los Angeles’ fleet the largest electric car fleet in the world.

Among those vehicles were two Tesla Model S P85D loaners.

Initially, the Teslas were entered in general duty. At the time, the LAPD stated that its use of electric cars was for “testing and research by (LAPD) technical experts to determine how this technology can support their future needs.”

But now, the LAPD has announced that the pair of Model S electric cars will be accessed in the high-speed pursuit category.

LAPD Police Administrator Vartan Yegiyan told CNBC the following:

“Tesla definitely stepped up and gave us the Model S to do some evaluation with them. Tesla is working with the agency to assess the vehicle’s performance in our environment and to learn what are the drawbacks and positives of this type of vehicle in our fleet operation. Not only on the regular transportation side, but also the future in the high-pursuit-rated vehicle arena.”

We know the Model S P85D is definitely capable of of reaching high-speeds in a hurry, but a concern is that range could be significantly reduced if high speeds are sustained for a long period of time. The LAPD testing will determine whether or not the Model S is fully fit for high-speed pursuits.

Check out the latest/full update at: CNBC

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40 responses to "LAPD Now Testing Tesla Model S As High-Speed Pursuit Vehicle"

  1. Snowdall says:

    Would be neat is Tesla eventually built a stripped down “interceptor” version of the P85D for police usage. Because I can’t exactly see a lovely leather lined interior being useful or maintainable for rugged day to day police usage. Plus can you imagine if they integrated the standard police data systems into the 17in display? I think it would be a neat (though limited) market for the car. Just a thought.

  2. Texas FFE says:

    Does it have Autopilot so they can chase bad guys and eat doughnuts at the same time?

    1. Anon says:

      Uncalled for, and disrespectful to the people who put their lives on the line every day…

      1. Texas FFE says:

        Lighten up, no disrespect intended. The whole idea of using a $100,000+ luxury car as a police car is pretty silly. I bet there are a few cops trying to figure how they can use the Autopilot.

        1. Nero says:

          1. It’s luxury because of its price tag
          2. Google how much brand new high-speed pursuit interceptor cost.
          3. Finding an answer to #2 feel surprised

      2. Koenigsegg says:

        It was funny. Then I saw your comment and shook my head and stopped smiling.

        1. ModernMarvelFan says:

          Well, Anon only allows jokes if it is on GM…

  3. James says:

    The gas savings alone would pay for a Model S vs one of those ridiculous Tahoe police cars.

    1. storky says:

      Not to mention the fuel consumed idling.

    2. ModernMarvelFan says:

      Cops don’t keep cars forever.

      Police Tahoe cost is only about 1/2 of the price of a P90D.

      $50K buys a lot of fuel. At $3/gallon, 15mpg, it buys 250K miles of fuel. That is about the end of the life for the car anyway…

      1. Nate says:

        As much idling as they do I doubt they reach 15mpg.

        1. Nate says:

          DC non hybrid fleet average 7.5 mpg.

          1. ModernMarvelFan says:

            So, 7.5mpg is 125K miles of gas. We haven’t even mentioned electricity cost of Tesla yet.

            That is 125K miles to break even.

    3. evcarnut says:

      You mean those Gas Guzzling BIG UGLY SLUGS…..

      1. ModernMarvelFan says:

        Those ugly slugs will carry far more police gears and passengers than Model S will ever be dreamed of…

        Yes, sometimes Utility is the reason people go with SUVs…

  4. Texas FFE says:

    Hey, I know. If the cops are in hot pursuit and they start to run down their battery they can call up a self driving eBuggy battery to catch up and charge them. That’s going to be quite a trick in a 150 mph pursuit.

    1. no comment says:

      i think that the battery would start to overheat even if you tried to do a lap at a track. it is hard to imagine that you could reliably use a model S as a pursuit vehicle.

      1. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

        On a racetrack, you could indeed “floor it” and run it at maximum speed until the battery pack overheated and the Model S automatically went into reduced-power mode.

        Contrariwise, actual drivers in real-world driving are capable of exhibiting some restraint. You don’t mash the accelerator to the floor and leave it there for minutes at a time, whether you’re driving a gasmobile or a BEV. Yeah, you can overheat a Model S by trying to drive at top speed too long. And you can blow the engine of a race car that way, too.

      2. Texas FFE says:

        One trick they have always use on police cars is to beaf up the cooling systems. I doubt these Model Ss have stock cooling systems for the batteries.

        1. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

          I’d bet money it has a stock battery pack thermal management system. The entire point of the loan was to find out how suitable (or not) the Model S is for police work. If Tesla had to modify the car before loaning it to the LAPD, then that would defeat the purpose.

          I’d also like to point out that someone ran a Model S for 12 minutes at top speed on the Autobahn without it overheating. I think any limitations on being able to drive the Model S at top speed have been vastly overstated. Even in a high speed police pursuit, it’s not often that you’d need to drive at 125+ MPH for more than 12 minutes at a time! And if you disagree, then you’ve watched too many movies.

          http://insideevs.com/tesla-model-s-p85-driving-125-miles-per-hour-12-minutes/

          1. Aaron says:

            I had to giggle at Texas FFE’s “150MPH” high speed chase. High speed chases rarely exceed 100MPH.

  5. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

    It’s odd that it took them this long to figure out the Model S was best used as a high speed pursuit vehicle. What else would you use it for, with such a remarkably short 0-to-60 performance?

    1. ModernMarvelFan says:

      Does the criminal only stop after 60mph?

      If NOT, then why does 0-60mph matter but cornering, braking and handling don’t?

      BTW, the recent episode of “Top Gear” (American version) on History channel pit a P90D, CTS-V and Hell Cat on the track against each other…

      The Winner was easily the CTS-V which was almost 5 seconds ahead of the P90D. P90D was faster to 60mph but by the end of the first turn, it was behind the CTS-V already.

      1. Will Davis says:

        does it not occur that they want an EV because it has other benefits?

        Namely the fact it’s quiet and doesn’t spew fumes in people’s faces?

        1. ModernMarvelFan says:

          That matters in pursuit vehicle?

          The entire point of pursuit vehicle to be fast and agile…

      2. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

        ModernMarvelFan said:

        “Does the criminal only stop after 60mph?”

        “If NOT, then why does 0-60mph matter but cornering, braking and handling don’t?”

        I’m fairly sure I didn’t suggest anything of the sort. But the very fast acceleration will certainly help a lot; for example, in getting back up to pursuit speed after making a sharp turn.

        “The Winner [on the racetrack] was easily the CTS-V which was almost 5 seconds ahead of the P90D. P90D was faster to 60mph but by the end of the first turn, it was behind the CTS-V already.”

        Gosh, that means the Model S won’t perform well during all those high speed police pursuits which take place on closed racetracks. [/snark]

        Otherwise, it should do just fine.

        1. ModernMarvelFan says:

          It just means that there are overall faster vehicles that cost way less.

  6. Phil Trubey says:

    Electric cars are a natural for police cars. Police have to leave their ICE engines running all the time to keep their electronics powered (and K-9s cooled). EVs makes so much more sense…

    1. Daniel says:

      Perhaps for inner-city use and maybe suburbs, meter maids, etc.

      There are many uses where electric vehicles would fit the bill very well. usually circumstances where the routes and distances are known and fixed and repeated daily. such as mail delivery

    2. ModernMarvelFan says:

      In that case a “weak PHEV” is all you need then.

      Or a bigger battery hybrid would be more than enough.

  7. ModernMarvelFan says:

    Seriously spending $100K on a pursuit vehicle is just stupid regardless how awesome Tesla P90D is.

    A Mustang or Camaro is way cheaper as pursuit vehicle and doesn’t cost nearly as much. Since it is only for pursuit, it doesn’t need to be as large or as heavy.

    Plus, these days with helicopters and radio, you can’t really outrun the cops easily unless the police feel it is too dangerous to continue pursuit…

  8. scott franco (No M3 FAUX GRILL!) says:

    High speed pursuit? I thought the LAPDs thing was low speed pursuit…. of Ford Broncos…..

  9. Nix says:

    PR gimmick.

    It doesn’t even have a bull-bar up front to use for pit maneuvers. It can’t run primary in a chase without that. What would one of those do to the drag resistance and to the battery range?

  10. Leptoquark says:

    I’ve always thought that electric cars would make great daily patrol vehicles, not just pursuit vehicles. You can creep all over the place with one in almost total silence.

    In fact, I would build in dual rocker switches labeled “dark” and “quiet”. Dark would kill all lights on the car, and Quiet would kill any low-speed pedestrian sound. Under the right circumstances, I can easily see the police discovering all sorts of no good in back alleys and neighborhoods.

  11. Adam says:

    Pursuit rating does not necessarily mean going 150mph indefinitely. The pursuit rating is probably overkill for most agencies, especially urban areas. Agencies are placing a lot of weight on this metric for vehicles which may not be used in a single pursuit in their service lifetime.

    There are many more important, quantitative and useful metrics that are used every hour of every shift. Like ergonomics, storage, spacious interior, huge fuel savings, excellent PR, electronics ready. The drawback would be recharge times if the vehicles are being used 24 hours a day.

    Tesla would likely bring the price down by making a standardized option group substituting cloth for leather, halogen headlamps, RWD, etc.

    And the $50,000 price difference? Most patrol cars would be lucky to average 10mpg. That’s $45,000 in $3/gallon gas over 150,000 miles. Don’t forget brakes which probably go fairly frequently and oil changes too. The economics can be easily justified.

  12. Nate says:

    Nice and heavy for the pit manuever.

  13. Get Real says:

    A big-battery EVs with very fast DCFC at their stations (and, Tesla cars and superchargers are the only ones right now and for the forseeable future) is a GREAT idea for law enforcement agencies as the TCO over the life of the car should be much lower then gas guzzlers they drive now.

    With an additional huge bonus of reducing pollution and greening our municipal fleets.

  14. Scott says:

    Always thought electric fire trucks would be a good fit. They don’t go far, and when they do they just sit there with the lights on. No pump trucks in the City. Besides the ones in my hood are terribly loud (engines as well as sirens!)

  15. kdawg says:

    “The LAPD testing will determine whether or not the Model S is fully fit for high-speed pursuits.”
    ——-
    Isn’t that when you get a Prius cop car? LOL

  16. Just_Chris says:

    Again we find people being critical about trials. At sometime in the future police cars will likely go all electric, can an electric car do everything that a petrol car can do in that application. Maybe? how will they know for sure unless they do a trial? 5 years from now they may have model 3’s as pursuit cars. Why not? maybe they will work out much better for some tasks. The model S is heavier and faster than most other cars does that give it an advantage?

    Also had it crossed peoples mind that the bad guy might be in a Model S in the future? What better way to find out about the vehicle than operating it in your fleet for a couple of years. Do Tesla’s have an automatic collision avoidance system how does that change how you pursue them? Can it be tricked to cause the vehicle to pull an emergency stop? Is the best way to catch a model S to simply block the freeway exits and chase it at 100 mph unit the battery runs flat? I don’t know but a trial of a totally new technology sounds sensible to me.

    I am sure the LAPD are going to learn a lot about this vehicle in the next few years, I am also sure they’ll have a lot of fun doing it but just because it might be fun doesn’t mean they shouldn’t do it.