The Westport Police Department in Connecticut is adding a Tesla Model 3 to its fleet of squad cars, which is expected to begin active duty in January 2020. The all-electric sedan will be joining the departsment’s existing fleet of Ford Explorer police cruisers and currently undergoing fitement of lights, sirens, computers, high-performance tires, and weapon racks by Whelen Engineering.
Police Chief Foti Koskinas noted that the department’s decision to add a Model was based on the vehicle’s performance, five-star crash safety ratings, and advanced collision avoidance technology. He also said he “believes in being green,” but it was not a primary factor in the decision to purchase the vehicle.
Despite Tesla’s higher price point than the department’s existing fleet of $37,000 Ford Explorers, Koskinas justified Model 3’s $52,290 cost due to its fuel and maintenance savings. The Police Department also plans to install a charging station at its headquarters. “The Police Department already has a gas pump on its property, and now will be adding a Level 2 electric vehicle charger which will easily recharge the vehicle in a few hours overnight so it has a full charge each morning. There are also EV chargers available to the public at other Westport locations such as the Library, Town Hall, and both train stations,” Koskinas said.
Residents of the Westport area are supportive of the Police Department’s decision to add an electric vehicle to its fleet, especially in a town where citizens own more electric vehicles per capita than any other town in Connecticut.
Multiple police forces in the United States have chosen to use Tesla vehicles for patrol cars. The Fremont Police Department in California, located near the Tesla Factory, utilizes a Model S for patrol. Another force in Bargersville, Indiana has a Model 3 in its fleet of police vehicles. Spokespeople for both of these police departments noted the expectation that the cars would save on the cost of gas and yearly maintenance, just like the Westport PD.
The Westport PD will host an open house for residents to view the Model 3 police cruiser up close. Officers will be on-site to discuss the advantages of electric vehicles for the department.