Cotati Police Unveils First Tesla Model Y Cruiser in Sonoma County


The City of Cotati in Sonoma County, California, unveiled its first all-electric police cruiser, a Tesla Model Y, on Thursday — reports The Santa Rosa Press Democrat.

City officials presented the fully-kitted Model Y police car during a ceremony at La Plaza Park. Cotati, located just 45 miles north of San Francisco, has become the first city in California’s Sonoma County to induct an electric vehicle (EV) into its police fleet.

“This vehicle will be more cost-effective, saving our citizens money while at the same time helping reduce (greenhouse gas) emissions — something we all recognize we need to do,” said Cotati Mayor Mark Landman.

According to Tesla, Cotati is the second Bay Area police department to have an EV in its fleet. The other is Fremont, which deployed its first Model Y patrol car last year. Tesla’s EVs are also being used by police departments in Vermont, Nevada, Washington, and more.

The Model Y is the Cotati Police Department’s 10th patrol car overall. More EVs will be purchased for the fleet as existing cars are phased out.

Cotati Police Chief Michael Parish said the department may buy two more EVs this fiscal year. “We would like to be 100% electric vehicle,” he said during Thursday’s presentation.

Cotati Police’s new Tesla has already been retrofitted for patrol and put into use. “It does everything you need a patrol car to do,” Parish added.

The Model Y was more expensive to purchase than a typical patrol car, which would be an all-wheel drive Dodge Charger.

However, the difference in sticker price evens out because the Model Y costs less to fuel and maintain. Notably, the Model Y doesn’t require regular smog checks, oil changes, tuneups, or other engine-related work. EVs also don’t need brake replacements as often as gas guzzlers.

In addition, the city also estimates that the residual value of the Model Y at retirement will be higher than that of a gas-guzzling alternative.

Kicking off Cotati’s transition to all-electric cars aligns with California’s plans to ban sales of new gas-powered vehicles by 2035 and significantly reduce vehicle greenhouse gas emissions.

Mayor Landman on Thursday challenged other Sonoma County law enforcement agencies to follow Cotati PD’s lead and join the EV revolution.

“Once Sonoma County makes this switch, we can make the same friendly challenge to Mendocino and Marin and, once that happens, we can all together watch this take off like a rocket throughout our state,” Landman said.