Image: Travelers Rest Police Department
The Travelers Rest Police Department in South Carolina has added two Tesla Model Ys to its fleet. The vehicles have been deployed as part of a pilot program and are now the best choice in the market.
The Travelers Rest Police Department is committed to fulfilling its responsibilities in a way that also helps the environment. The agency added two Tesla Model Ys to police duty, according to Fox 8 (via Sawyer Merritt/Twitter). The cars will patrol the streets of the city with a population of 8,000 people. Electric vehicles have been added as part of a pilot program to make the city more environmentally friendly.
“What we have decided to do here in the city is a pilot program for electric patrol vehicles,” Ben Ford, the Chief of Travelers Rest Police, said. “These two vehicles behind me were the first two that we’re giving a shot.”
“We really want to try to do our part to see if we can save on money for the city,” Ford added.
Both cars have already been in the police department for about a year. However, they had to be equipped as required, which took time. However, recently, two Tesla Model Ys have become operational. Officer Henry Blake was one of the first to get behind the wheel of the police Tesla vehicle and patrol the streets. Officers who drive the Model Y said the cars have unique features, like a quick, assisted stop that allows them to focus more on the vehicles while they are in pursuit.
“The safety features on here lets me focus on the vehicle in front of me,” Officer Blake said. “It has early warning stop detection, so if I'm getting too close to the vehicle in pursuit it actually starts breaking even more for me so I'm not so much focused on my driving, per se, but the vehicle in front of me.”
“What I’m basically looking for is speeders because our speed limit downtown is 25 miles per hour. Most people get kind of thrown off when they are coming off a high-speed area,” according to Officer Blake. “We are looking for those violators and also registrations that have expired on vehicle tags and just various other violations that occur when people are out and about.”
The officers also noted that it is now difficult for speed breakers to run away from the police. Tesla cars have instant acceleration so that you can catch up with the intruder faster than before.
“These cars are very quick,” Chief Ford explained. “We don't do a lot of chasing over long distances. But when we need to catch the violator, we can catch them quicker in these cars.”
The officers also said that while the cars have many extra features, they are not much different from driving a typical patrol car. What really makes a big difference is the maintenance. Electric vehicles require significantly less maintenance time and costs. In addition, it is much cheaper to charge electric vehicles with electricity than it is to fill gasoline-powered vehicles with internal combustion engines.
“In the past year, we have spent zero on maintenance. There's no oil in them. There's no fuel for them. They are full electric; nothing but electricity,” Chief Ford said.
“We anticipate in four to five years, that extra that we paid upfront will equal out what we paid in fuel, oil changes, etcetera,” added Chief Ford.
While some might think that the Tesla Model Y is expensive to buy, the reality is quite different. The cost of Ford Explorer police cars has increased significantly, so the difference in purchase between it and Model Y has become small. The benefit from the purchase will be especially noticeable when the electric car starts to quickly bring savings on charging and maintenance.
“The cost of Ford Explorers, the police vehicles, have gone up drastically. The difference in a Tesla Model Y and a Ford Explorer is only a few thousand dollars now,” according to Chief Ford. “If it turns out to not be a good thing than of we'll back up and try something new. If it is a great thing, than maybe other agencies will follow suit.”
Following the use of the vehicles, Chief Ford said the police department is considering expanding its fleet of Tesla patrol cars in hopes of saving the city even more money down the road.
© 2023, Eva Fox | Tesmanian. All rights reserved.
We appreciate your readership! Please share your thoughts in the comment section below.
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.