The 2021 Tesla Model Y Is Gearing up for Police Duty

Whoop whoop, that’s the sound of the police, and thanks to the Tesla Model Y, it’s electrifying. The 2021 Tesla Model Y will help policemen and women save thousands in fuel costs while chasing down criminals. 

The 2021 Tesla Model Y joins the police force 

2021 Tesla Model Y police car
2021 Tesla Model Y police car | Boulder Police Department

Does the 2021 Tesla Model Y count as the first official Robocop? Well, probably not. Police will just be using this EV to drive around as they protect the streets from criminals. But the Model Y does provide a few advantages for the police. 

But wait a second, isn’t the Model Y an expensive luxury option? It costs about $39,990 to get started with the base model. Then it has to be outfitted as a police vehicle, so that could cost thousands. 

According to the Boulder County Sheriff’s Office, the 2021 Model Y’s fuel cost and maintenance are expected to be much lower than its current patrol vehicles. It could be cheaper to own in as little as six months with not paying for gas. 

How does the Model Y provide savings? 

A white 2020 Tesla Model Y parked on concrete
2020 Tesla Model Y | ATTILA KISBENEDEK/AFP via Getty Images

The Boulder Sheriff’s Department shared that they will be testing a 2021 Tesla Model Y Long Range AWD as a patrol vehicle. They are keenly aware that many people perceive Tesla vehicles as luxury options. 

While that is true for a large segment of their product line, Tesla’s mission has been the proliferation of electric vehicles (EVs) into the mainstream market. Plus, the costs of Tesla models have been reducing over the past few years. 

The department shared that the Model Y has similar specs to the gas-powered Police Interceptor SUV. Plus, it has exceptional safety, performance, and reliability ratings. The extra initial costs could be made up in six to 18 months. 

The average life span on a patrol car is five years or 50,000 miles, so the Model Y could provide more long-term savings. The Boulder Police Department estimates about $16,000 in savings that could improve with whole fleets. 

With the Ford Police Interceptor’s fuel and maintenance costs, you’re looking at about $0.187 per mile driven. But the Tesla Model Y’s operating and maintenance costs break down to about $0.029 per mile driven. So the Ford comes to about $19,635, and the Model Y equates to about $3,045. 

What police upgrades does the Model Y have? 

It’s been challenging to find information about how the 2021 Tesla Model Y has been enhanced for police duty. But in California, one Tesla squad car was tricked out with an additional 12v battery to support the electrical load, lightbars on the front, rear, and wheel well, as well as overhead lights. 

The car also got a Motorola WatchGuard in-vehicle camera, trunk lighting, a Panasonic mobile digital computer, a Setina push-bumper with a spotlight, a Setina prisoner seat and partition, center radio, and electronics stack, and Armormax door panels on the front doors. 

This may not be the standard for all Tesla police models, and it doesn’t sound like it gained any performance upgrades. A few police departments are testing the Tesla Model Y in their fleets to see if it’s genuinely worth it. More models could be added later.


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