Fremont Police Get First Tesla Patrol Car

The Fremont police department added an all-electric Tesla to its fleet of patrol cars.
Photo credit Matt Bigler/KCBS Radio

FREMONT — An all-electric Tesla made its debut today as part of the Fremont Police Department's fleet of patrol cars. 

A used Model S has been fully equipped for the world of police work in the city where it was manufactured. 

"We're successful in getting all of the electronic equipment installed that's required for police patrol," said Mark Collins, the department's fleet maintenance manager. 

The Tesla is about $20,000 more expensive than the typical gas-guzzling patrol cars, but will likely be superior when officers need to chase fleeing suspects. 

"The acceleration is better in the electric models," said Collins. "That'll get them right on them quicker and faster." 

There will also be savings on fuel and lower maintenance, Collins said. 

The Model S will be part of a one-year pilot program to see if electric cars make sense for police departments.

"If we didn't think it would work, we would not have done it," said Fremont Police Captain Sean Washington.

Tesla CEO Elon Musk recently predicted that the company's technology could power fully autonomous vehicles by the end of 2019. Such cars "will be able to find you in a parking lot, pick you up, take you all the way to your destination without an intervention," Musk said in a podcast interview. 

Other police departments from around the world have overwhelmed the Fremont police with questions, Washington said. 

"This is something that a lot of law enforcement agencies are thinking about, and we're just happy to be a part of that," he said.