West Virginia’s Nitro Police Department has become the first in the state to add a Tesla Model 3 to its fleet of police cruisers.
The recently purchased Long Range Model 3 has been on the job for 10 days, and has so far impressed Patrolman Matthew Haynes. In an interview with MetroNews, Haynes said the electric sedan is quite different compared to their regular cruisers and is still getting used to it.
For Haynes, one of the biggest adjustments is the center display that controls virtually every aspect of the car.
“It’s the size of a laptop screen or tablet screen. It controls every feature on the car. Your speedometer is there, your navigation, your A/C. There are no other knobs and controls other than a few on the steering wheel and some shift levers,” Haynes said.
The car has been outfitted with much of the standard police equipment by a local company, including typical radio and police scanner as well as light controllers.
The purchase was approved by Nitro City Council in May, and will be used as a test to determine whether more should be purchased for police use. Based on estimates from city staff, they expect to save more than $40,000 in fuel and maintenance costs over six years.
Nitro joins the growing trends of police departments adding Tesla vehicles to their fleet. While the Model 3 was the first to gain popularity among emergency services, the Model Y is quickly becoming a police favourite for the extra size and storage it offers.