Wethersfield Police Considered Tesla Cruiser, But Picks Ford Mustang Mach-E

Mustang Mach-E, courtesy of Ford

Another police department in Connecticut is set to start testing electric vehicles (EVs), in hopes that they could work as patrol cars.

Wethersfield Police Chief Rafael Medina plans to begin testing EVs to see if they’re suitable for police use, as CT Insider reported on Tuesday.

“We still have to figure out if are they viable as a police car,” Medina said.

The police department was awaiting the city council’s decision to award around $120,000 to buy two Ford Mustang Mach-E units and to install charging equipment at the headquarters, according to Medina.

The department is preparing to buy the vehicles, one for use as a patrol cruiser and the other as an unmarked police car.

In particular, Medina says the tests will evaluate the vehicles’ on-board computers, cameras and radios, as well as the overall range of the vehicles between charges.

Still, the council has yet to fully approve a proposal to buy the vehicles, after tabling the discussion at a September 6 meeting to further evaluate if Mach-E units were the right choice for the job — despite the Mayor and others showing strong support for going electric.

“I think it’s inevitable — it’s where autos in general are heading,” said Councilmember Patrick Pentalow amidst discussions on tax credits for EVs and an upcoming federal charging network.

Medina said the police department first considered a Tesla police vehicle, but then discovered the cars “were a work in progress,” without going into details.

The Westport police department held one of the earliest U.S. pilot programs for a Tesla patrol car in 2019, which was widely reported to have resulted in significant maintenance and fuel savings.