Photos: Ricki Pryor /Richmond Register
In early March, the Berea Police Department (BPD) in Kentucky made an important announcement: three new Tesla Model 3 cruisers became part of their police fleet. Berea is the first police department in the Bluegrass State to add electric vehicles to its fleet.
At the ceremony, BPD's Chief, Eric Scott said that receiving the Tesla vehicles was a very welcome event. Three 2021 Long Range Model 3s are now up and running. BPD estimates they will save $5,688 per vehicle through maintenance and zero fuel costs.
BPD initially considered the 2021 Chevy Tahoe starting at $56,000, but their decision was later taken in favor of the Tesla Model 3, which saved them more than $10,000 on the purchase of each.
Scott said that they had to rethink a few things in order to properly equip their car and not violate the warranty. For example, the antennas were not installed on the roof, as usual, but inside the car, aided by a glass roof that does not interfere with reception. BPD was able to install them on the rear deck right under the window without any problem.
At the same time, some things like internal and external cameras that needed to be added to other cars were already in the Teslas, which has saved thousands of dollars. The police officers also praised the presence of two trunks, which help separate some of the inventory that is more convenient to store in different parts of the car, also creating easier access.
Tesla's safety rating has become one of the most important and valuable features. According to Scott, about 60% of police officer deaths are car-related. In fact, in the short time that they had cars, Tesla had already prevented a collision for him personally, braking at the right moment and thereby avoiding a possible collision.
BPD's Chief's goal is to ultimately make 80% of the police fleet fully electric. He wants to buy 10 electric vehicles by the end of this year. To keep it running, Beria works with Evolve KY, Kentucky's nonprofit electric vehicle group, and their Adopt a Charger program to get Level 2 chargers onsite at the police station for their vehicles, as well as additional Level 2 chargers around town that are open to the community for public use.
© 2021, Eva Fox. All rights reserved.
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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.