LAPD adds 100 BMW i3 EVs to its non-emergency fleet

The EV was being considered alongside Tesla's Model S.

AP Photo/Nick Ut

After considering BMW's i3 and Tesla's Model S to replace a group of aging vehicles, the LAPD awarded the bid to the German automaker. 100 of the electric vehicles will be used as part of the department's motor pool that's mostly used by civilians, but they'll be available to officers on "routine assignments" as well. Along with the EVs, 104 charging stations were also included in the contract. With the total electric vehicle count now sitting at 168, the LAPD says it has "the largest fully battery-powered municipal fleet" in the US.

While California's own Tesla Model S was being considered, that electric sedan costs more than twice as much as the i3's $42,000 price. The department had been testing the now discontinued P85D which would've offered more range and the power needed to participate in a high-speed chase if needed. LAPD announced last month that it wasn't quite ready to switch over to an all-electric fleet for its cruisers, after spending some time with two of the Model S sedans. Cost and the availability of charging stations were cited as reasons for holding off on the switch.