Even though EVs aren’t really a niche market anymore, the Tesla Model 3 is still a popular electric car. The Long Range version can drive up to 320 miles on a single charge. A cheaper Standard Range trim comes with 220 miles of electric range, plus the most advanced cabin technology.
Currently, Tesla’s vehicle production is paused to focus on manufacturing ventilators. However, one big order of Model 3 cars was still delivered to the police force in Thailand. This isn’t the first time the Tesla Model 3 has been converted into a patrol car. Is this electric car actually better for police work than the usual options?
The newest Tesla Model 3 police fleet
The Thai police department recently received an order of seven Standard Range Plus Model 3 cars. This trim comes with 250 miles of electric range, 18-inch all-season tires, and built-in access to Google Maps. Tesla also outfitted the cars with standard police gear, which made the cars even more expensive.
The Thai police department opted for a five-year lease for each of the cars. In total, the fleet cost 89 million Baht, which translates to $2.96 million. This is not surprising given the elevated costs of EVs in some overseas countries. In Thailand, the average cost of an electric car is around $64,000.
Challenges of an all-Model 3 fleet
Obviously, the biggest roadblock of introducing Tesla cars to any police fleet is the cost. In America, this situation would have been a little more feasible. As MotorTrend points out, the average American buyer could have outright bought seven Model 3 cars for around $280,000 per vehicle.
However, because of the country’s local regulations, even leasing the vehicles took a huge toll on the Thai police’s funds. Each vehicle by itself costs $400,000 to lease over a five year period. However, the Thai police force believes that the cost was worth it.
Why the Tesla Model 3 is a great police car
The biggest upside about driving electric is reduced fuel costs. These police cars will be primarily used for cruising around cities at low speeds. Because of this, it will take officers a while to burn through the full 250-mile charge.
However, since gas is much cheaper in Thailand, it’s unclear if the savings will justify the costs of the lease. Still, the Model 3 is also a good police car because it’s very quiet. This could aid police when they need to sneak up on a criminal. The Model 3 also has a “frunk” at the front of the car for officers to keep additional emergency equipment.
The Tesla Model 3 has also been serving the general populace in the form of a taxi car. Last October, the Model 3 became the first EV approved by New York’s Taxi and Limousine Commission. Elon Musk has also announced that driverless taxis will also be available in the near future.
Thailand’s government’s EV plans
The implementation of Tesla Model 3 cars in the police force aligns with the Thai government’s EV initiative. In the coming years, the country wants to produce over 300,000 electric vehicles by 2025. Discounts and tax waivers will also be offered to attract EV customers.
Regardless of your feelings on EVs, it’s hard to deny the appeal of a Tesla Model 3. In addition to its sustainability, it’s also one of the safest cars you can buy. It’s also quite fast; the Standard Range plus can reach 0-60 mph in just over five seconds. All of these qualities make the Model 3 an excellent choice for a cop car.