Easthampton Police gets approval to purchase two Tesla Model Y cruisers, but not without some pushback from council

Massachusetts’ Easthampton Police Department got the green light this week to add two Tesla Model Y cruisers to their fleet. One will be purchased using funds from the department’s federal drug forfeiture account, while the second will be purchased with a combination of funds from the city and state grants.

At a city council meeting this week, councilors approved the second purchase for $89,864, which includes the cost of the vehicle itself ($56,940), retrofitting it for police use ($24,129), and two EV charging stations ($8,794).

The Model Y cruisers will be replacing two gas-powered Ford Interceptors and will be used on traffic bureau and the administrative division or detectives bureau, according to Police Chief Robert Alberti. (via Daily Hampshire Gazette)

Based on staff estimates, the Model Ys will save the city about $5,600 in annual fuel costs alone. Despite these savings, and the environmental benefit of using nearly 2,000 fewer gallons of gasoline every year, the approval was met with some pushback from councilors.

Councilor Koni Denham, who was the lone vote against the proposal, said she couldn’t compromise her values to purchase a car from a company led by Elon Musk.

Although Councilor Tom Peake ultimately voted for the purchase, he said he was also wary of buying from Tesla.

“I like the idea of us electrifying our fleet a lot, I just have a little bit of trepidation about the company,” Peake said.

Police Chief Alberti rebutted those arguments, saying the Model Y was the first EV to come with a five-star safety rating, and that keeping his officers safe was of utmost importance.

“This was the first electric vehicle that came with a five-star crash rating. It’s paramount that our officers are safe. Period,” Alberti said.

The Easthampton Police Department will be ordering the two Model Y Long Range vehicles in the next week, which means they should report for duty early next year.

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