UPDATE: A previous version of this story claimed that the Model Y Police Vehicle is approximately $7,000 cheaper to buy than the Ford Police Interceptor Utility Hybrid. As a matter of fact, the Ford Explorer-based vehicle is much cheaper than the Tesla, starting at $47,165 in hybrid guise, with the aftermarket modifications required by agencies adding an average of $20,000 to that tally. We've made the necessary corrections to reflect that.
Unplugged Performance is a well-known name in the aftermarket community as one of the pioneer electric vehicle upfitters.
But the Hawthorne, California-based company is diversifying its business beyond creating wild body kits and performance upgrades for Tesla EVs by tapping into the fleet car business. More specifically, Unplugged Performance has set up a new fleet division called UPfit, and its first product is the Tesla Model Y Police Vehicle you see in these photos.
The UPfit patrol vehicle made its world debut this past weekend at the world's largest Tesla gathering, Tesla Takeover in San Luis Obispo, California. UPfit already has an order for 20 Tesla Model Y Police Vehicles from the city of South Pasadena, the first in the US to replace its entire police fleet with EVs.
The company says its police car costs $91,990 – $50,490 for the stock vehicle plus $41,500 for upfitting. According to Unplugged Performance, the Model Y offers similar range, better 0-60 acceleration, and cost savings of $27,012 (mostly fuel) over five years of ownership compared to the Ford Police Interceptor Utility Hybrid.
Now, Ford Pro told InsideEVs that the Ford Explorer-based hybrid police vehicle starts at $47,165 (the gas variant is even less expensive), and that aftermarket modifications required by law enforcement agencies are roughly $20,000 over the base price. This means the Police Interceptor Utility Hybrid is significantly cheaper to buy than the Model Y Police Vehicle.
Depending on the customer's needs, UPfit can equip the Tesla Model Y police car with lots of accessories. Those include police-specific interior equipment such as seat covers and high durability materials, molded seats, prisoner cells and partitions, K9 containment and safety, firearm and equipment racks, GPS and radio systems, as well as computers and accessories.
The list of accesories also includes push bars and grille guards, running boards, a Pursuit Package consisting of high-performance braking and suspension systems, custom lighting solutions, sirens, airhorns, and PA systems, off-road and winter climate packages, air compressors and power tools, cargo storage systems, and more. Armoring packages with ratings up to NIJ III+ are on the menu as well.
Gallery: Unplugged Performance UPfit Tesla Model Y Police Vehicle
Why Electric Police Cars And Why Tesla?
Unplugged Performance says EVs provide "an ideal outcome of taxpayer savings, cleaner air, minimized maintenance downtime, and extreme capability on the job" when it comes to the needs of law enforcement, public safety, military, and corporate fleets.
For example, police vehicles require an always-on state to support onboard electronics and maintain a readiness to respond at a moment's notice. As a result, 60 percent of all gasoline burned in internal combustion police cars occurs during idling.
On the other hand, EVs can power all electronics using minimal energy requirements, and zero gallons of fuel. This is why Unplugged Performance believes EVs are ideal as police cars. But why Tesla?
The company argues that Tesla is the undisputed leader in high-volume EV production, making it "the validated safest platform choice." Over the years, Tesla EVs have proven to offer low cost of ownership, high uptime, infrastructure solutions, and critical mass.
In addition, Teslas have a proven safety and performance record, not to mention that they are available and ready for upfitting compared to competing fleet vehicles from other brands that currently have a waiting period of 10 to 24 months.
"There is no doubt in our mind that the most capable, safest, most comfortable environment for an officer to spend the bulk of their day is inside a properly equipped Tesla police car. Unplugged Performance has the deepest expertise in developing holistic integrated solutions that work seamlessly with the unique Tesla ecosystem. We're excited to introduce our UPfit division for Tesla Police Vehicles and are confident we represent the best choice for taxpayers and police officers alike."
Ben Schaffer, CEO of Unplugged Performance
Last but not least, Unplugged Performance's 10 years of experience modifying Teslas guarantee that the upfitting process is done safely and will be reliable for the law enforcement use, according to the company.