LAPD tests out Tesla Model S as patrol car


LAPD tries out Tesla Model S P85D

LAPD tries out Tesla Model S P85D

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If Tesla Motors [NSDQ:TSLA] gets its way, the next set of flashing lights in your rearview mirror very well could be attached to a high-zoot electric car.

The California electric car brand has loaned a pair of Model S P85Ds to the Los Angeles Police Department for testing purposes.

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Granted, the LAPD admitted right off the bat that the Teslas are simply too expensive to consider using as patrol vehicles currently. Although the Model S P85D has been dropped in favor of the P90D's higher-capacity battery, the cars sticker for around $100,000. By comparison, a Ford Explorer-based interceptor lists for about a third of that.

“Is it practical now? No," LAPD administrator Vartan Yegiyan told CNBC

“[But over] the next three to five years ... not only will the industry push toward electrification, but prices will drop on vehicles. More models will be coming out, and the electricity and electrical grid will become more robust, and more charging stations will be available. While that’s occurring we’ll be in the space learning and contributing to the process.”

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The LAPD is also trying out the BMW i3. While the BMW is a lot cheaper, its usefulness as a police cruiser is considerably more limited due to its lower performance.

Just when electric cars could start showing up in the LAPD fleet with some regularity is hard to determine, but the department buys up to 750 new cruisers annually.

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