Photo: Westport Police Department
The choice of Tesla vehicles as police cars becomes more obvious after the publication of usage data. The EV Club of Connecticut, with assistance from Westport Police Department, has released stunning data showing that their Model 3 saved the city tens of thousands of dollars.
The EV Club of Connecticut has published an article detailing the financial side of owning a Tesla car for the Westport Police, which bought the Model 3 in December 2019. The policemen spoke about the experience of owning an electric car, and, as it turned out, they gave extremely positive feedback. Of course, one of the main features that deserves special praise is the instant acceleration, thanks to which the Model 3 is able to catch up with an accelerating car in less time than its gas-powered counterpart.
Tesla Model 3 was purchased for $52,290, which caused some dissatisfied reviews at the time, as buying a $37,000 Ford Explorer seemed more financially reasonable. Buying electric vehicles is indeed still more expensive than ICE cars, however owning an EV is much more cost-effective. Westport Police worked with Sustainable Westport (SW) prior to the purchase to estimate the numbers. According to preliminary estimates, Tesla's lower operating costs will pay off within three years.
It was also cheaper to customize a Tesla as the car already had some equipment. Thus, the overall customization of the car costs $24,600 lower than the customization of the Ford Explorer.
Ongoing costs consisted of charging and regular maintenance. Ford brakes are serviced at four times the frequency of the Tesla, while the Model 3 tires are replaced at two times the frequency of the Ford. The same tires are used for each vehicle. Based on 23,060 miles a year, Ford required oil/filter changes, transmission servicing, a catalytic converter, water pump, spark plugs, and alternator. The cost of electricity for Model 3 was 60% less than the cost of refueling with gas.
The service life for Ford Explorers is four years. At the same time, based on what the police have seen to date, they are planning a six-year life for Model 3, or 50% longer life than the Explorer.
The EV Club of Connecticut diagram (below) shows the total cost of each vehicle with subtotals by category (purchase, customization, ongoing) for each of four years. As you can see from the graph, Ford maintenance gets more involved and expensive over the years.
Model 3 Pilot is the vehicle currently used by the Westport police.
Next is the potential purchase of another car of the same kind.
Even on a cash basis, the costs for the Teslas are considerably lower. However, it is worth noting that the above diagram does not take into account lifespan. The chart below reprises the category format, except that the purchase and customization costs are divided by the number of years in the service life of each vehicle. This is why the fixed costs increment upwards each year. The magnitude of the difference between the Teslas and the Ford Explorer is greater because, after four years, only two-thirds of the Tesla purchase and customization costs are amortized.
The savings for Pilot and Next cars are as follows:
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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.