WESTPORT — Police have added a Tesla Model 3 to their fleet in hopes of meeting sustainability goals and save the town money.
Police added the 2020 Tesla to the fleet and are outfitting it with the necessary police equipment – including emergency lights and siren, networked computer, a weapon rack and tires capable of sustained speeds of over 100mph. The department expects it to hit the road next month.
Police Chief Foti Koskinas said in addition to being green, he was impressed by the superior performance, 5 star crash ratings, and industry-leading collision avoidance technology available in the Model 3 compared to the Town’s typical squad cars. Officials said they have no plans to use the Autopilot feature. A Tesla 3 crashed into state police cruisers on Saturday. According to police, the driver was operating on autopilot at time. Tesla advises owners that the feature is designed to assist drivers, not to take over the tasks of driving.
Town officials purchased the car for $52,290. Typically, the town pays around $37,000 to add a Ford Explorer to the fleet, but they expects to make up for that in fuel and maintenance savings over the life of the vehicle. “Just in the first 3 years, an internal combustion engine squad car typically requires approximately $11,000 in maintenance, including oil changes, oil filters, tune ups, and brakes. In contrast, Teslas don’t require annual maintenance and have brakes that last 70,000 miles or more, benefiting from a regenerative braking system that uses a motor to simultaneously slow the car down while recharging the battery.”
They expect to realize fuel savings of $13,770 just in the first 3 years. “Charging the battery won’t be an issue, as the typical daily mileage of the Tesla is expected to be less than 150 miles, and the official mileage rating for a Model 3 is 310 miles. Given the way the vehicle will be used day to day, maximum range is expected to be between 200-220 miles. 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.”
Town residents own more electric vehicles per capita than any other town in the state, said officials.
EV Club President Bruce Becker commented, “The economic, environmental and public health benefits of electric vehicles are irrefutable, and it is exciting to see the Town of Westport reaping these benefits. It’s logical for those responsible for public safety to lead the effort in keeping the planet safe by reducing dangerous pollutants and emissions, 38% of which come from the transportation sector. As the first Police Department on the east coast we know of to add a Tesla squad car to its fleet, Westport is now a national leader in the urgently needed transition to EVs.”