The city manager of tony Atherton, California, thinks he'd like some new police cruisers.

In fact, George Rodericks suggested to the San Jose Mercury News, "I'd love to see the [Tesla] Model S be used for Atherton's police cars."

There are hundreds, if not thousands, of millionaires living in the tiny Silicon Valley town, where the median house price is $6.7 million.

Turns out those are just the people who buy Tesla Model S electric cars. In fact, according to Edmunds data, the Tesla Model S now has a 15-percent market share of the new cars sold in Atherton.

So Rodericks' comment got us thinking: The Tesla Model S sedan would actually make a great police cruiser.

2012 Tesla Model S display screen [Photo: Flickr user jurvetson]

2012 Tesla Model S display screen [Photo: Flickr user jurvetson]

Here's why.

  • First, the Tesla Model S has rear-wheel drive--the strong preference of most police forces (there's an all-wheel-drive model reportedly on the way as well)
  • It's fast: 0 to 60 mph acceleration in roughly 4.5 seconds for the 85-kilowatt-hour Performance model, which has a 310-kilowatt (416-horsepower) electric motor
  • That same model has an EPA-rated range of 265 miles, so only one Supercharging stop would likely be needed per 8-hour shift, even in high-speed highway duty
  • Troopers and other police officers have to eat (no doughnut jokes, please) and make pit stops too, so Supercharging gives them 20 minutes to do that while recharging the battery to 80 percent
  • The Model S has no tunnel running down the middle of the car, giving plenty of room for computers and other police hardware (the lack of that space is a complaint about some current patrol-car contenders)
  • Its five-door hatchback design offers access to a large load bay for carrying vests, weapons, and whatever else is in the trunks of all those patrol cars
  • And if anything bad happens on duty, the Model S got some of the best safety ratings of any large vehicle tested (meaning no exploding gas tanks, like those suffered by Ford Crown Victoria cruisers)
  • The quiet, smooth operation of an electric car is relaxing to drivers under basically all circumstances--reducing stress and letting officers concentrate on their surroundings
  • City planners will love its lack of emissions--clean, green, AND mean!
  • It's built in the U.S.--in Fremont, California, in fact.

What do you think? Would the Tesla Model S be your ideal police car?

The only problem we can foresee is that Atherton's very well-heeled citizens may not want their police force to be driving the same electric luxury cars as they are.

Leave us your thoughts in the Comments below.

[hat tip: Dana Hull via Brian Henderson]


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