Spokane City Council President Brian Beggs has been pushing the city to begin converting the Spokane Police Department's fleet from gasoline to electric vehicles for over a year, but city officials have been slowing down the process. However, this week, the Spokane City Council voted to have the Spokane PD acquire four new Tesla Model Y patrol vehicles, rejecting the city’s plan to buy two hybrids and two traditional, gasoline-powered vehicles.
The Tesla purchase was promoted by Beggs, who reminded city officials of a 2018 state law that requires local governments to begin replacing older vehicles with electric models, The Spokesman Review reported.
“This is a great time to pilot this and see how it works,” Beggs said. "It would take essentially one charger to be installed."
Ultimately, city officials acknowledged that Spokane, Washington, needed to prepare for the imminent shift to electric vehicles. On December 14, Spokane City Council approved the purchase of four Tesla Model Ys for use as patrol cars. In a statement after Monday's vote, city spokeswoman Marlene Feist said the administration was evaluating the way forward.
The council had doubts about whether there would be enough patrol cars at night when the electric cars will be charging. But Nathan Groh, Urban Sustainable Transport Analyst, told the City Council on Monday that “it seems that we have about half of our patrol vehicles parked at least every day for about 3-4 hours, that would offer some room for charging the proposed electric vehicles."
The expected cost of electric vehicles over their life cycle is much less than that of gasoline-powered vehicles, but the initial cost is generally higher. Beggs noted that the city's cost analysis assumed that both an electric car and a gasoline car would have an equal lifespan of about five years or 125,000 miles, however his analysts found information that this is not true. He said that, over time, electric vehicles will be significantly cheaper because they last longer.
“All electric vehicles are going to last a lot longer than your traditional gasoline or even hybrid vehicles. On the most extreme ends, we've seen Teslas last over 300,000 miles without any significant maintenance challenges,” said Groh.
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About the Author
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.