LA cops aren't ready to switch to Teslas

An all-electric fleet isn't feasible for now.

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Mariella Moon
May 13, 2016 10:06 AM
Eric Garcetti/Flickr
Eric Garcetti/Flickr
After using two Tesla Model S cars as police cruisers for a year, the LAPD has reached a verdict. It's not ready to transition to an all-electric fleet just yet, but it's not closing its doors on EV cruisers. LAPD Administrator Vartan Yegiyan told CNBC that electric vehicles aren't practical for police use at the moment due to their costs and the availability of charging stations.

The cars they tested were on loan from Tesla, but each Model S would cost the department $100,000 -- much, much more than the $30,000 it pays for one Ford Explorer. ​Further, authorities are worried that an all-EV fleet could prevent them from responding to situations in the middle of natural disasters, which could knock out charging stations.

Yegiyan remains optimistic about EVs' future with law enforcement, though. Tesla's Model 3 has an expected retail price of $35,000, after all, and other companies could follow suit with similarly priced electric cars. He told CNBC:

"[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 be in the space learning and contributing to the process."

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