South Pasadena, California, is taking significant step toward achieving net zero in the future by becoming the first city in the country to replace its entire police fleet with Tesla model electric vehicles.
According to officials, the city council’s approved infrastructure project received a substantial grant of nearly $500,000 from the Air Quality Management District to purchase the environmentally friendly electric cars.
Deputy City Manager Domenica Megerdichian stated that the new Tesla fleet, consisting of 10 Model Y and 10 Model 3 vehicles, will serve a range of purposes, especially for the city’s police department.
“Some of them have K-9 capabilities, they’ll be utilized for both the patrol and the detective administratives,” Megerdichian explained. “The vehicles are undergoing up fitting.”
According to South Pasadena Police Chief Brian Solinsky, the electric vehicles are the best operationally as they are safer and faster than the department’s current fleet. They will also save the city maintenance and fuel costs.
Unplugged Performance was commissioned by the South Pasadena Police Department to revolutionize the 20-vehicle fleet, helping them to swap out their internal combustion engine vehicles and replace them with Teslas.
The city will be leasing the new vehicles for a period of 60 months.
South Pasadena joins other police departments across the country, such as those in Falmouth, Massachusetts, and Fremont, California, in transitioning to Tesla electric vehicles. Other departments, such as the NYPD, are currently swapping their fleet for electrical vehicles as well.
After careful consideration of various options, Pasadena officials concluded that Tesla offered the best fit, particularly as many of vehicles in its current fleet are reaching the end of their useful life.
In addition to the vehicle replacement, the city’s infrastructure plan includes the installation of more electric vehicle charging stations, catering to both municipal and public needs. A partnership with Southern California Edison has facilitated the plan, which is expected to be completed by the end of 2024.
Megerdichian emphasized the city’s goals to reduce its carbon footprint. “It’s actually part of our vision statement that we are committed to an environmentally stable future,” she said.
Councilmember Michael Caccioti echoed the city’s commitment to its “climate action plan.” “We will be putting our officers in the safest and most effective police vehicles on the market,” he said. “In addition to that, we will be investing in technology that will help reduce harmful vehicle emissions to improve air quality for all our residents. 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.”
South Pasadena residents can expect to see the new police Tesla units on the streets within the coming months.