Yet another police force in the United States is shifting to electric patrol cars. The Broken Arrow Police Department (BAPD) in Oklahoma received approval this week to purchase a Long Range (LR) Tesla Model Y.
The decision to go electric comes after the BAPD tested a Tesla for a one-week period earlier this year. During those trials it exceeded their requirements for a police patrol vehicle.
Despite the $52,000 price tag, more than their typical gas patrol cars, Officer Chris Walker says the low maintenance and fuel costs will easily offset the upfront cost.
“It’s fiscally conservative to do it. The initial purchase price is a bit more. It’s quite a bit more, it’s $52,000, but we’re spending a lot less on maintenance and fuel for the vehicle because the fuel is electricity. After about four years, it pays for itself,” Walker told KUTL News.
Once it is outfitted with the required police equipment the Model Y will be assigned to a traffic unit officer.
This purchase is hopefully just the beginning for the BAPD. Walker said if the electric SUV performs well while on duty, it could mean more EVs in their fleet.
“If it’s a long-term cost savings measure, awesome. Especially one that will handle the duties that we put it through. We’re not exactly easy on vehicles,” said Walker.
The Broken Arrow City Council approved the purchase at a meeting on March 16, making it the first all-electric patrol car in the state of Oklahoma.