Law enforcement agencies across the United States are warming up to all-electric vehicles motivated by the government incentives and the lower total cost of ownership EVs offer compared to their gas-powered counterparts.
There are obviously more reasons than that to go all-electric, but we'll get to those later on. For now, it's worth noting that most police departments that have purchased all-electric vehicles for their patrol fleets have opted for Tesla vehicles, especially the Model Y and Model 3.
The former is arguably more popular among law enforcement agencies because it offers more interior space, and that comes in handy when modifying a vehicle for police use. But what exactly does a Tesla Model Y need to become a patrol car?
Well, the video above courtesy of Edward Pennington Calderhead on YouTube offers probably the best look yet at the modifications made to a Model Y police cruiser. The car is presented by Zak Wilson, the president of Cincinnati, Ohio-based Model PD, which is a company that converts Tesla Model Ys into patrol cars.
Right off the bat, we get a close look at the most obvious exterior modifications, including the push bumper with integrated lights, the steel wheels equipped with heavy-duty tires, and the carbon fiber roof.
The latter replaces the stock glass roof and is necessary for the fitting of police-specific accessories such as the light bars, antennas, and a headliner on the interior for things like dome lights, mounting switches and being able to run cabling for all kinds of accessories.
Other exterior changes include exterior lightning that features red and blue lights inside and a police spotlight on the driver's side. The interior is also heavily modified with seats featuring less bolstering and made of a more durable material, vinyl rubber instead of floor carpeting, a cage, and special cargo area.
Interestingly, the Model PD team has integrated the Windows-based police user interface into the Model Y's center screen. Toggling between the Tesla interface and the police interface is done manually by flipping a switch.
While Model PD's president wouldn't say how much it costs to convert a Tesla Model Y into a patrol car, he did say it's more expensive than an equivalent ICE-powered vehicle. However, the company estimates law enforcement agencies will break even on the cost of the vehicle in about two years compared to an ICE car; from then on the agency will start to make savings.
Wilson also noted that the Model Y can run without major issues for 10 years, which is longer than an ICE patrol car, mainly because the risk of developing drivetrain issues is much lower.