The Newport Police Department in Kentucky is currently in the process of procuring three Tesla Model 3 vehicles to add to its fleet.
Chief Chris Fangman explained that the decision to explore electric vehicles has been a three-year-long consideration, driven in part by the exponential increase in the price of their current patrol vehicles, the Dodge Durango. Even the more affordable alternative, the Ford Mustang Mach-E, prompted them to consider electric options as a viable and cost-effective alternative.
“So, we got the ball kind of rolling, and we were thinking, you know, we might be able to pull off getting some electric vehicles even though we thought they were going to be super expensive,” Fangman Link Nky.
Fangman shared that the fleet manager discovered that Tesla adjusts its prices based on market conditions, making their electric vehicles competitive with traditional counterparts like the Dodge Durango. This discovery fueled the department’s determination to pursue Teslas, given their affordability and environmental benefits.
Once added to the fleet, one Tesla will be allocated to a shift lieutenant for a comprehensive test, examining the vehicle’s performance in different conditions, including varied temperatures and extended 12-hour shifts. The remaining two Teslas are intended for administrative use, replacing the aging Dodge Durangos currently in service for patrols.
While supply chain challenges persist for police vehicles in Northern Kentucky, Fangman stressed the long-term benefits of electric vehicles. Drawing on research and consultation with the Berea Police Department, which already employs Teslas for patrols, the Newport Police Department identified notable advantages, including substantial savings on gas and enhanced operational efficiency.
Additinoally, the wear and tear on brakes and the overall vehicle are considerably lower with electric vehicles, further contributing to potential cost savings. If the Newport Police Department successfully integrates the three Teslas into its fleet, Chief Fangman sees it as a pivotal step towards adopting an all-electric vehicle fleet in the future.