Image: Green Car Reports
The California Department of Transportation has ordered 399 Tesla Model 3s, estimated at more than $18 million. It is the largest order known to date among all US government departments.
California was Tesla's home and the company settled down there for a long time. Despite the fact that the relationship between the company and the state government has cooled over time, Tesla cars are still the best-selling cars in California. If you find yourself in the state, then you will be sure to see dozens, if not hundreds of Tesla cars on the roads every day, even as the company is now based in Texas. This great love for the manufacturer’s cars is justified by the fact that they are the best in the segment, providing their owners with an environmentally friendly, high-tech, safe, and economical vehicle.
In this regard, not only private customers have paid special attention to Tesla electric vehicles, but also government agencies. Of course, the USA is the country in which Tesla cars are most introduced into various federal departments. Drive Tesla has learned that the California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) has placed a large order and is now expecting 399 Tesla Model 3s. It is reported that Caltrans confirmed that all vehicles ordered are rear-wheel drive (RWD) variants. The purchase price is estimated at more than $18 million. This makes the deal the largest known EV order from a US government department at the federal or state level. So far, the largest deal known to the public has been New York City’s purchase of up to 250 Model 3s. The order was placed in 2021 for $12,360,000.
Funding for the purchase of Tesla vehicles for Caltrans reportedly came from the California Spending Plan, which allocated $176 million in each period of 2022-2023 and 2023-2024 for Caltrans to replace their gas-powered fleet with zero-emission vehicles (ZEVs). In addition to purchasing ZEVs, the funding also includes the installation of the necessary charging infrastructure to recharge the fleet.
Caltrans found that the Model 3 RWD provides the best overall taxpayer value after review compared to other ZEVs approved for fleet purchases by the Department of General Services. In addition, factors such as safety ratings, range, resale value, a powertrain warranty, and fuel and maintenance savings also played an important role in the final selection.
“For each gas-powered vehicle we replace with a ZEV, that represents one fewer vehicle that needs to stop at the gas station and deal with volatile fuel prices, along with lower maintenance costs, which will save time and taxpayer money over the life of the vehicle,” said Caltrans to Drive Tesla.
To date, Caltrans has taken delivery of 236 of 399 Model 3s and expects to receive the remaining 163 units by January 1, 2023. After the order is fully completed, the department's fleet will be replaced with ZEVs by 43%. Caltrans already has 54 Toyota RAV4 Primes, 15 Chevy Bolts, 11 Nissan Leafs, and one Ford F-150 Lightning electric pickup. In addition, the department also has 37 zero-emission hydrogen fuel cell Toyota Mirais, and one hydrogen-powered sweeper.
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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.