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Bargersville Police Chief Todd Bertram is very pleased with the use of the Tesla Model 3

Bargersville Police Chief Todd Bertram is very pleased with the use of the Tesla Model 3

The Bargersville Police Department became the first Indiana police station with a Tesla electric car and the first in the country with a Tesla Model 3.

The main motivation for the purchase was the savings that are expected for several years compared with the usual choice of Dodge Charger.

Bargersville Police Chief Todd Bertram said:

“Two big things that we were looking at when shopping for cars were obviously cost and performance. Many times when you get a car that is in our cost price range, you sacrifice performance. With Tesla, the performance is better than the cars we are currently driving. It’s amazing, it’s smooth, it’s powerful, it handles great.”

The purchase price was $39,500, which corresponds to the price of Model 3 Standard Range Plus, which is $14,500 more expensive than the Dodge Charger. But the annual Dodge Charger fuel bill is about $7,125 compared to the expected $1,728 for electricity for Tesla. It was also taken into account that thanks to the money saved, Tesla will almost pay for itself over its lifetime (they expect six years as a police vehicle). Tesla also reportedly wins in terms of insurance costs and even tires, brakes and wipers.

Photo: Provided by Bargersville Police Chief Todd Bertram

Car performance is excellent and you can save thousands of dollars in a few years. The range of 240 miles is two times higher than during normal use, from 80 to 120 miles per day. So usually in Model 3 there is still another 20-30% charge.

Furthermore, he also noted other less obvious benefits, like the silent drivetrain enabling officers to more easily get the jump on people, and the Tesla app enabling them to start climate control remotely in the winter.

Having such a horse in its fleet, the Bargersville Police Chief Todd Bertram faces increased attention. Bertram said:

"I got a guy for speeding on (Ind.) 37 and all he wanted to talk about was the Tesla."

"During that same traffic stop, somebody honks and a guy's hanging out of his window with a phone taking video."

The population of Bargersville is constantly growing. More growth is expected when Ind. 37 becomes I-69 linking Martinsville to Indianapolis. Bargersville is getting a large interchange when the new highway opens.

"I need to hire a couple guys at least in the next couple years," Bertram said. "So the goal was to have a few Teslas that would reduce the amount of use in the budget so we could put that back in and pay for their salaries."

Bargersville PD wants to add four more Teslas to its fleet and wants to use the money saved on the charge and maintenance of Model 3 to hire more officers.

In addition to the obvious benefits in the form of savings, Tesla also has other advantages. The car has eight video cameras that can be used for record traffic stops.And various driver assistance functions make driving a lot easier. Bertram especially notes that police cars must be fast. Well, Tesla accelerates from 0 to 60 mph in just 3.2 seconds, which is an excellent indicator.


The article uses quotes from interviews for IndyStar.

Featured image: Provided by Bargersville Police Chief Todd Bertram

About the Author

Eva Fox

Eva Fox

Eva Fox joined Tesmanian in 2019 to cover breaking news as an automotive journalist. The main topics that she covers are clean energy and electric vehicles. As a journalist, Eva is specialized in Tesla and topics related to the work and development of the company.

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