Tesla Model S To Enter Active Police Patrol Duty In Los Angeles


OCT 17 2016 BY MARK KANE 25

The Los Angeles Police Department after acquiring fleet of 100 BMW i3 (BEVs), is now also about to live test a Tesla Model S in the fleet as well as BMW i8.  (We wonder how much seniority is required for an officer to get that gig?)

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

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

It would seem that law enforcement has a bit of a weak spot for the premium brands, but the official talking points say that the recently added plug-ins will have a 15% lower total cost of operating over the outgoing ones.  Imagine if they drove LEAFs or Spark EVs?

Recently, a Tesla Model S has been put on the schedule for active police patrol duty – citing the need for faster acceleration and more range.

Currently the i3s are being used for more administrative assignments, travelling to and from crime scenes in an investigatory capacity.

However we are still not sure whether even a superb test result will encourage the LAPD to purchase such an expensive police car, as such buys are high profile and sometimes seen as a bad use of taxpayer’s dollars.

“Once fitted with radios, a computer, custody cage, locking shotgun rack, and other equipment, the Tesla will be put to the test in the field by an on-duty patrol sergeant, who will be driving to emergencies and possibly even taking part in pursuits”

The key answer here will be rather, whether range and performance of EVs enables to replacement of ICE vehicles today, or if we just need a little bit more time to wait for more affordable models…like perhaps a Tesla Model 3?

source: nbclosangeles.com

Categories: Tesla

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25 Comments on "Tesla Model S To Enter Active Police Patrol Duty In Los Angeles"

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I guess that huge center screen would be very useful for their information system if they can persuade Tesla to allow them to install it in their cars.

Sounds like they are installing their own computer, probably on a swing arm as usual. I think officers need real keybords to type things in.

Wonder what they will use the frunk for?

Rowdy prisoners… 😉

The silence of the predator before striking…with infra-red cameras…

Pursuit mode, Kitt!

Tesla never did release the SDK for their vehicles, like they said they would. I suppose the REST interfaces are all we get. Two things would really sweeten the deal here for LAPD:
Installation of their own hardware IoT SIM card instead of the AT&T one, so they can control their own wireless network traffic and services management/monitoring.
That evasive SDK.
LAPD can still get by with the web browser and secure web apps, though. Being able to swap out the SIM cards, though, that’s key. You want a private network for law services.

Installation of their own keyboard? There are two USB ports and they both function for devices. I’ve even seen a youtube video with someone hooking up a floppy drive and another with a ZIP cartridge.

Pro tip: put the gun rack in the front trunk. If the weapons don’t fit in there, you’re not enforcing laws, you’re at war with the citizens.

Finally! The last time I got arrested the wifi sucked…

LOL! It must have sucked to stream and watch a movie on your smartphone while holding it with your hands cuffed behind your back.

The article says:

“The Los Angeles Police Department after acquiring fleet of 100 BMW i3 (BEVs), is now also about to live test a Tesla Model S…”

Is this just a recycled “old news” story about Tesla loaning the LAPD a Model S for “testing purposes”… which means publicity/advertising on the part of Tesla? Or did the LAPD actually buy a Model S?

I hope it’s the former. I certainly hope that taxpayer dollars are not going to be used to add a luxury car to a police cruiser fleet!


I disagree… I think all police departments in CA should only be allowed to buy cars made in CA. Seems to me that the Model X would be better for general patrol uses… and the S for pursuit( not many cars could get away). Cops spend a lot of time working in their mobile office vehicles… plus the 5 seater could work as hatch space could be secured and store loads of gear. Imagine how much maintenance could be saved and how much less fuel could be bought if we did this. At first adding solar panels, batteries, and chargers to parking areas could be expensive… but once investment made… just keeps paying back.


Originally the Tesla was being assessed and tested as a pursuit car before picking up regular duty (while the i3s were more administrative). But it was evaluation only at the time…not live action/trial by fire.

That test period is now up/concluded, and one assumes went well, as a Model S is now actually going into active duty.

according to the article, they only bought one model S P85D, so this is testing and evaluation.

as to the issue of cost, i tend to agree with P2 on this. it’s hard to imagine that there wouldn’t be considerable public outrage if the LAPD deployed a full (or even considerable) fleet of $100,000 cars; that’s more than 3 times the cost of an ICE cruiser.

Agreed on all points? (=

sadly I think you are right, but… they would save in fuel over time and promote locally-built, more environmentally-responsible vehicles.

I’m sure John Q. Public will understand…

The city of Atherton, CA was also considering Tesla vehicles at one point. If you look at the balance, this would be a pursuit/interceptor (go see Road Warrior if you want to understand the difference between the two) vehicle, not a patrol car, and the BMW i3 would be police business vehicles (crime lab, etc).

If you look at the maintenance and fueling of a police vehicle, this is going to be a cost saver over time. If a Model S 60 is $64k but lasts 2x a Crown Victoria (or whatever), it saves money.

the choice of a BEV for law enforcement use would be driven by zero-emissions considerations, the economics don’t really work out.

the fact that the test car is a model S P85D tells you that they aren’t going to complete the evaluation period and then buy a model S 60. if they are considering using the car for pursuit/interceptor use, the car would be subject to very non-energy efficient use. so the minimum required would probably be a model S P85D.

police cruisers have to be deployed in the field to be useful, so they are probably more like taxicabs. it seems to me that FCEV would be a better technology for this kind of application, or alternatively BEV with MW recharging facilities.

What, were the newer models without the grill not available?? Makes you wonder how long the LAPD has actually had this…

Awesome car to chase with but needs to avoid collisions because of the aluminium chassis being 100% designed to protect inhabitants and 0% to protect integrity of the car structure.

This is an absolute waste of taxpayer money. The LAPD will be embarrassed when their Model S runs out of juice during a high-speed chase live on TV.

One Model S costs as much as 3 or more ICE vehicles. BEVs make sense only for transport/admin vehicles – not for front line patrol.

It’s clear you don’t grasp BEV ownership and operation. Not that that would stop you from spreading FUD…

Pretty sure you’re also clueless about the anual fuel costs and carbon output of the LAPD, too.

First of all the police shouldn’t be conducting high speed chases all that often. Use your smarts and (as the name interceptors implies) intercept the potential criminals by working alongside your colleagues to whom you can radio ahead. Furthermore most chases are short; this is the perfect car to out-accelerate and get in front of errant vehicles.

I wasn’t aware that the LAPD had in-driving refueling capabilities for their ICE cars…

What happens when a car that’s been out patrolling all day gets involved in a high speed chase?

keep in mind that an ICEV has a lot more range than does a BEV. an ICEV can drive a lot longer without needing a fill up than can a BEV before needing a recharge. patrol cars have to generally be on the move, so they would rack up miles in normal patrolling. in the event of a pursuit, there might be some theoretical possibility that you could run out of juice. but that is something that i would think could generally be managed. police probably patrol defined areas, so the number of miles in normal patrol driving is predictable. high speed chases are generally discouraged because of the hazards that they pose to the general public, so if a police officer is regularly engaged in high speed chases, you probably want to get that guy off the road because he is probably being reckless. so, if you put it all together, i suspect that the LAPD figures that a tesla P85D would provide sufficient range for regular patrol duties and the performance for the (what would be expected to be) rare pursuit scenarios. the practical difficulty in all of this is that the car is just too expensive for… Read more »

Mind boggling that they would put i3’s in the fleet instead of something less pricey, like a Leaf or Spark EV.

…or, dare I say, the upcoming Bolt EV.

As far as the Leaf goes they probably put a lot of miles on the car and I imagine they didn’t want a battery that would be dead after a year on the road 😉

For the Spark I’m not sure all their employees could fit in a Spark with their gear.