The South Pasadena Police Department in California has purchased a fleet of tuned Teslas as it moves to become the first American police department to switch to an all-electric fleet.

    Unplugged Performance, which is responsible for performance upgrades on Teslas, worked with the South Pasadena PD to tune its latest vehicles. It says it has worked on a total of 20 Tesla Model Y and Model 3 vehicles for the department.

    A decision was made in September 2022 which allowed the department to transition to an all-electric fleet, with the department’s existing fleet having reached the end of its service life.

    The new vehicles will be in service by February 2024.

    The city will reportedly install nine Level II (208-240V) and Level III (480V) chargers to assist with the transition to electric power, which will be for police vehicle use only. They’ll be installed before the end of the year.

    A US$500,000 (A$750,590) investment in “clean transportation funding” from the Mobile Source Air Pollution Reduction Review Committee is being accompanied by a “significant” contribution by the Southern California Edison’s Charge Ready Program and the South Pasadena City Council to fund the program.

    The zero-emission fleet is in an effort to support the city’s climate change plan.

    “We will be investing in technology and most effective police vehicles on the market,” said South Pasadena council member Michael Cacciotti.

    “This effort will provide a model for other jurisdictions; we can build a 21st century police force, save significant resources and clean the air at the same time.”

    “The safety of our officers and our citizens is the top priority when making a decision like this,” said South Pasadena Police Chief Brian Solinsky.

    “We have been investigating this transition for five to six years and determined that these electric vehicles will be the best operationally for us.

    “They are the safest and fastest vehicles and will save the City money in lower maintenance and fueling costs. The fact that they are better for the environment is an added bonus.”

    The city of South Pasadena estimates a cost saving of more than US$300,000 (A$450,387) per vehicle over ten years, owing to reduced fuelling and maintenance costs.

    It expects “fuelling” costs will reduce ten-fold, from US$4355 (A$6538) for fuel to just US$366 (A$549) in energy costs.

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    Jade Credentino

    Jade Credentino is an automotive journalist currently based in Melbourne, Australia. Jade has had a chance to review a variety of vehicles and particularly enjoys SUVs. She enjoys traveling and going on road trips exploring Australia.

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