Central Washington University announced that their police force would add a Tesla Model Y as their newest patrol vehicle this winter.
The Model Y will replace a recently retired Ford Explorer patrol vehicle.
CWU Police Chief Jason Bethon-Kock noted the move to the Tesla would save the department on fuel, maintenance and emissions.
According to Bethon-Koch, the upfront costs of a Tesla are justified with the savings in the long term. He noted that the police force should save almost $18,000 over the vehicle’s lifetime on fuel and maintenance costs.
In November, Washington Governor Jay Inslee signed an executive order stating that the state’s pool of 5,000 vehicles will begin the transition to become fully electric by 2040. So, the move to an EV patrol car is not a surprise.
However, it is the first time that a higher education police force in the state has invested in an EV.
Central Washington University now has nine electric vehicles and twelve hybrid vehicles in its broader fleet, according to a report by ifiberone. The Tesla Model Y is the first EV in the police fleet. However, the university has a way to replace its entire fleet with zero-emission options.