Tesla Wants in on the LAPD's $30 Million Budget for "High Pursuit" Cop Cars

"Is it practical now? No."


Tesla’s inescapable draw has infiltrated the Los Angeles Police Department. The second-largest police force in the nation is testing out the Model S for the future of high speed pursuit.

The Model S is fast — 0-60 in 2.8 seconds to be exact — but it’s also expensive. At least $100,000 of public funds would have to be dumped on each car. But it’s clear why Tesla wants to give the LA market a taste of the good life: The LAPD buys 600 to 750 vehicles every year with $30 million in public funds, according to CNBC.

“Is it practical now? No,” LAPD administrator Vartan Yegiyan told CNBC. But over “the next three to five years … not only will the industry push toward electrification, but prices will drop on vehicles. More models will be coming out, and the electricity and electrical grid will become more robust, and more charging stations will be available. While that’s occurring we’ll be in the space learning and contributing to the process.”

So fresh and so clean.


But how could the LAPD ignore an offer to test one of the hottest cars on the market right meow? Law enforcement arguably hasn’t looked this cool since Super Troopers came out.

The two black and white Model S P85Ds were offered up “to assess the vehicle’s performance in our environment and to learn what are the drawbacks and positives of this type of vehicle in our fleet operation,” Yegiyan told CNBC. “Not only on the regular transportation side, but also the future in the high-pursuit-rated vehicle arena.”

The keys to the P85Ds were handed over last September, but this is the first time the LAPD has given high speed chases as a potential use.

The boys in blue know that the Model S “doesn’t make any sense from a budget standpoint.” But one can dream right? They are a whole lot cooler than the Ford Interceptor and the Training Day-era Crown Victorias.



Tesla isn’t the only electric vehicle the LAPD is reviewing, and the company isn’t being ruled out in the long run. One thing is for certain: tapping into the police cruiser market would help Tesla get to the half-a-million annual production rate faster.