The Auburn, California police department is joining the growing trend of electrifying law enforcement vehicles by purchasing a Tesla Model 3. The city council approved reallocating funds from a planned Chevrolet Tahoe to instead acquire the electric sedan.
The department cited several benefits of switching to the Tesla for their needs. The Model 3 better aligns with statewide mandates to transition municipal fleets away from fossil fuel vehicles, supply chain issues have made it difficult to obtain traditional police cars like the Tahoe.
The Tesla will primarily serve as a command vehicle for police lieutenants before likely being rotated into the normal patrol fleet. At $53,352, the Model 3 came in slightly under budget compared to the $55,026 Tahoe.
Auburn now joins nearby Folsom in adding Tesla vehicles to its police force. Folsom approved acquiring both a Model 3 and Model Y last month. More departments are finding Tesla’s instant torque, autopilot assistance, and low operating costs well-suited for law enforcement duties.
The Model 3 purchase highlights Auburn PD’s willingness to embrace EVs and evaluate further electrification of its fleet. While the Tahoe offered more interior space, the seamless driving performance and advanced technology of the Tesla offset that downside for their current needs.
As Tesla vehicles become more prevalent, police agencies must adapt to new patrol car options on the market. Auburn’s order indicates a confidence that the Model 3 can reliably serve their officers while achieving sustainability goals and budgetary efficiency.
More California cities may follow Auburn’s lead in testing Tesla patrol vehicles as interest in EV adoption continues rising across sectors. Their real-world performance data could encourage wider usage of Teslas in law enforcement.