Police departments want to electrify their fleets but have few options

Police departments looking to add electric cars to their fleets have few suitable choices, as one report recently highlighted.

The police department in Spokane, Washington, is looking to go electric, and recently tested two Tesla Model Y crossovers, according to the Spokane Spokesman-Review

. They received “scathing reviews” from cops, according to the paper.

The Spok ane Police Department found that the Model Y was too small to comfortably accommodate a police officer, and too expensive to convert into a police car, according to the report.

Hyundai Kona Electric police cars in Switzerland

Hyundai Kona Electric police cars in Switzerland

Because Tesla doesn’t sell a factory police package, it took months to design and install the necessary equipment, such as a front push bar and prisoner cage, the report said. It costs about $30,000 to outfit a Model Y for police work, compared to $8,000 to $15,000 for more traditional models, with a negligible difference in estimated five-year ownership costs, according to the report.

We’ve seen numerous police EV announcements over the years, but whether it’s an LAPD BMW i3, a Nissan Leaf being used for traffic enforcement in Seattle, or Hyundai Kona Electrics in European police fleets, these have been relatively small-scale efforts.

However, Ford has said it’s considering “purpose-built electric police vehicles,” and is shopping the Mustang Mach-E around to police departments. It showed a Mach-E police testbed in late 2021, and subsequently announced that the NYPD had expressed interest in Mach-E police cruisers.

2021 Ford Mustang Mach-E police pilot vehicle

2021 Ford Mustang Mach-E police pilot vehicle

Ford has controlled a large share of the police market since the days of the ubiquitous Crown Victoria-based Police Interceptor, and it’s been adding police cars to its lineup.

The Ford Fusion became the first pursuit-rated hybrid police car in 2017, and Ford currently offers its Explorer-based Police Interceptor

as a hybrid. But we’ve found that the civilian Explorer Hybrid doesn’t exactly prioritize city efficiency or engine-off driving.