Denver PD Put Tesla Model S Into Service




Denver Police Department’s Tesla Model S

The Tesla Model S seems like a great choice for a police vehicle due to acceleration, state-of-the-art technology, and passenger and cargo space. However, it’s a bit pricey.

We previously reported about the Los Angeles Police Department testing the Tesla Model S as a high-speed pursuit car and Scotland yard considering Tesla vehicles for police and emergency use. Now, the Denver Police Department is following suit and already has a functional Model S police cruiser.

Redditor Modes22 got a close-up look at the department’s new ride and posted a video on Reddit:

First ever Tesla Police vehicle spotted in Denver. Custom interior and sirens built in (not sure if it’s controlled through the touchscreen – but that would be pretty sweet!) from teslamotors

According to Electrek, even though the Denver PD set the car up with a siren and lights, it will likely only be used for special events and community outreach.

“We have several cars that we use for community outreach and events (vintage police cars, etc.), and the pictured Tesla will be used for that same purpose.”

This makes more sense, however, since the price is significant compared to vehicles traditionally used as police cars. Perhaps stations having one as a high-speed car or a “special ops” type addition makes sense, but we’re pretty certain that some people may complain if a department were to replace all cars with Tesla vehicles. However, down the road, the Tesla Model 3 may be a viable option.

As battery costs continue to drop and EVs reach price parity with ICE cars, it will only make sense to see government agencies make the switch. This is especially true because it will save a significant amount of money currently used for fuel and vehicle maintenance. The longevity of EVs is also very attractive for these type of positions. Future EV fleets could last for many more years than current fleets, saving municipalities even more money. Additionally, having access to the latest, greatest technology, and continual over-the-air updates is paramount.

Source: Reddit via Electrek

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12 Comments on "Denver PD Put Tesla Model S Into Service"

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I saw there was a police department that has a few Bolt EVs as well. A Bolt or Model 3 would be more cost effective for a police department.

They’re both plenty fast, long range and half the price.

The bolt would be worthless as a real police car.
Too slow; to short of range; takes too long to recharge; no clean separation of cargo space from prisoners; etc etc etc.

But, it would work for special events and ticket girls. Though to be fair, that is still an expensive car for that.

I get 270+ miles of range with a full charge. 10-80% charge on the Bolt is a little over an hour based on the two times I tested it at a DCFC. Perfectly adequate for a days work with no charging.

I don’t think a police department would road trip in their Bolt or send it on a high speed chase. 😛

And obviously a custom job needs to be done on any vehicle like a Tesla or Bolt to suit this purpose. But a lack of separation isn’t an inherent issue. Besides, not every vehicle needs it. Many traffic cops use motorcycles.

For a regular traffic cop sitting idle to catch speeders or driving around at city speeds? The Bolt and Model 3 seem like ideal cars.

The first police Bolt is in Hyattsville, MD. See

I spoke with the officer who was responsible for it, and he said, in spite of what most people think, most patrol vehicles in Hyattsville do less than 100 mi/day, so range isn’t really an issue. I don’t see how it could be speed limited either. I’ve always thought the huge advantage of EV’s for police work is their near silence.

Hyattsville PD also has a new Zero electric motorcycle.

Too slow? You really want police driving around at 100+ mph?

Agreed. Seems like a waste of taxpayer $ for something that won’t get driven much. Even a Bolt is a little pricey for that.

Pricey indeed, but who’s to say this Tesla wasn’t a repo/confiscated car that they just chose to use instead of sending it to the police auction?? I’ve known several high-end vehicles that end up as undercover cars, Police Chief cars, etc….

Free fuel for life for a car that drives alot each day can add up fast.

Im hoping that Tesla will make a model 3 cruiser for police. It is ideal for it, once it has the long range and a bigger dual motors.


Cop in a Model 3 pulls you over.

Cop: Do you know how fast you were going?

Ticketee: Uhm, no sorry.

Cop: Me either, the damn thing doesn’t have a speedometer 😀

As a cruiser the Model 3, Bolt, Leaf, etc. are all too small. The S or the X would likely work but you’ll run in to the price issue.

…the same way a Honda Civic doesn’t have a speedometer. Anything else?