Lack of “practicality” stunts LAPD trial of Tesla Model S and BMW i3
The Los Angeles Police Department have evaluated a pair of Tesla Model S P85Ds as potential future cop cars, with the department using the cars for more than a year.
Sadly for Tesla, the evaluation resulted in a ‘thanks, but no thanks’ from the department. However, talking to the CNBC, LAPD Police Administrator Vertan Yegiyan wasn’t completely doom and gloom about the prospect, unable to rule out the potential for future adoption of the marque by the LAPD.
"Is it practical now? No. [But over] the next three to five years ... not only will the industry push toward electrification, but prices will drop on vehicles,” said Yegiyan.
“More models will be coming out, and the electricity and electrical grid will become more robust, and more charging stations will be available. While that's occurring we'll be in the space learning and contributing to the process."
Yegiyan described the reviewing process as an attempt “to assess the vehicle’s performance in our environment, and to learn what are the drawbacks and positives of this type of vehicle in our fleet operation. Not only on the regular transportation side, but also the future in the high-pursuit-rated vehicle arena.”
A BMW i3 and a swag of electric motorbikes and scooters were also tested by the LAPD over the same period, in an effort to help prepare the organization for the future mass adoption of electric vehicles — as more and more electric options become available to the mass market at an accessible price.
While the Tesla’s noted speed and low electric running costs are significant ticks in its favour, its $100,00USD price and the limitations of using them during power outages are currently significant marks against the idea.
While the incoming demise of the Holden Commodore as we know it hasn’t impacted Holden’s hold on New Zealand’s police-car contract — a five-year extension between Holden and the New Zealand Police having been inked last year — the potential to explore alternative platforms that are faster will most likely be stronger than ever when the contract ends in 2020. While the chances of Tesla taking over here are remote, the chance of a set of electric options gaining favour cannot be ruled out.