Police Chief Explains How Tesla Patrol Cars Saved Their Department Tons Of Money

Police budgets have been a political hot topic for a number of years. No matter what side of the fence you fall on, you'll likely agree that the police should take steps to save the public money where they can. One department in Wisconsin believes it can save its taxpayers around $80,000 a year by going electric. The department had previously fielded Ford Explorers, which aren't the most economical choice of vehicle. Most other departments aren't too eco-friendly either, with vehicles like the Dodge Charger being very popular in the policing world. Chargers are popular with police departments for a few reasons. The respectable top speed and bulked-up suspension make it handy in a chase, but on the flip side, the 5.7 liter Hemi engine doesn't make it the most economical or eco-friendly vehicle on the road (via i-5 Cars). The Somerset police department's chief, Joel Trepczyk, mentioned that previous efforts to go green have included reducing vehicle numbers from three to five and buying a Ford Fusion hybrid back in 2019.

In contrast, the Tesla Model Y that Somerset police are hoping to switch to is very eco-friendly — provided it stays on the road long enough. While parts for the high-tech vehicle tend to be more expensive than they are for many gas cars, Teslas also tend to be more reliable — which drives repair costs down. The vehicles are also covered by a pretty solid warranty, though things like Police Departments are likely to view warranties in a different way to standard consumers as they rack up the miles and tend to engage in what could be deemed high-risk activities. Still, Somerset PD may save a bundle over the years — assuming the chief's math is correct.

Police Department expects to save $80,000 per car

According to Police1 News, the chief of Somerset Police hasn't made the switch because the Tesla will perform better in a chase or can pack more suspects into the back. Instead, Chief Joel Trepczyk has made the switch purely for financial reasons. The chief expects his department to save a staggering $80,000 per vehicle over its 10-year lifespan. The list of areas where the Model Y could present a saving included a lack of "oil changes," its "battery designed for 500,000 miles," its "five-year/125,000 mile drivetrain and battery warranty," and the fact it is "American made." The Model Y's 300-mile range is also more than enough to handle the average shift — which the Chief says averages between 30 and 60 miles. The chief explains the stark contrast between the Model Y and one of the department's previous vehicles, saying: "Our most recent retired Ford Police Interceptor Utility racked up over $15,000 worth of maintenance and repair, depreciated over $30,000 and was averaging 10 MPG over its five-year/100,000-mile duty cycle." The vehicles cost the department $60,000 each, and the purchase price has been covered through a mixture of LEA grants and donations. A level 2 charging station has also been donated and installed at the station, so the cars can be topped up while off duty.

Apparently, feedback from the officers driving the Teslas has been good so far, and Somerset PD isn't the only department who have made the switch. Chief Trepczyk says that other local departments, including Eden Prairie Police Department and Eagan Police Department, have also jumped on the electric bandwagon.