The Snohomish County Sheriff’s Office in Everett, Washington, has announced that it will be adding a Tesla Model Y Long Range to its fleet o patrol cars in a pilot program to test the viability of electric vehicles (EVs) in patrol work — reports The Everett Herald.
Snohomish County isn’t the first in the U.S. to have a Tesla for a patrol car — the Logan Police Department in Ohio, Broken Arrow Police in Oklahoma, and Seaside Police in California have all recently added the Model Y to their patrol fleets.
Accounting for all the modifications needed to turn it into a police patrol car, the Model Y will cost the department upwards of $51,000 USD. On the flip side, the all-electric SUV will allow for significant savings in fuel, repair, and maintenance costs.
Everett’s first-ever all-electric patrol car is expected to hit the streets by the end of the year, according to Courtney O’Keefe, a spokesperson for the Sheriff’s Office.
For the duration of the pilot program, the Sheriff’s Office will track and assess the Model Y’s performance and abilities as a patrol car, along with total repair and service costs. The results will determine the future of EVs in the Snohomish County government.
“It may very well fail, be a marginal success, or completely succeed,” O’Keefe wrote in an email to The Daily Herald. “We just don’t know yet.”
The Model Y offers will excel in pursuits with its impressive speed and acceleration, recently got a range bump, and drives crazy quiet. The Sheriff’s Office will carefully curate the Model Y’s patrol details to make sure charging downtime and range doesn’t affect its duties.
During budget discussions last year, Snohomish County Councilman Sam Low said that the Sheriff’s Office alone used over 340,000 gallons of gas in 2019. That adds up to 3.4 million gallons of fossil fuels over a decade. “I’m concerned, and I’d like to see us go in a different direction,” said Low at the time.
As part of the 2021 budget, the Snohomish County Council required all county departments to create Green Fleet Implementation Plans for the transition to green transportation. With deputies in the county reporting problems with hybrid vehicles in the past, an all-electric vehicle simply made sense as the next step in that direction.
According to the Sheriff’s Office, it came down to the Tesla Model 3, the Tesla Model Y, and Ford’s Mach E. The Model Y won out in the end.
An Indiana police department with a Tesla Model 3 recently reported savings of $7,000 USD on fuel and maintenance in the first year alone, so the Snohomish County Sheriff’s Office can expect to see similar savings.
According to the Westport Police Department in Connecticut that recently added a Model 3 to its fleet, a Tesla EV also costs less to deck out into a patrol car than the gas guzzlers of yesteryear.
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