Skip to main content

Tesla Model Y to be cheaper police patrol car in just 6-18 months, says Boulder Sheriff

The Boulder County Sheriff’s Office announced that it acquired a Tesla Model Y to test as a police patrol vehicle.

It justified that higher sticker price with gas savings resulting in a cheaper total cost of ownership in just 6 to 18 months.

Like many other law enforcement agencies, the Boulder County Sheriff’s Office is starting to look into electrifying its large fleet of vehicles.

Tesla vehicles have become the go-to EV for police departments around the world.

Many have started adding Tesla Model 3s to their fleets, like the NYPD most recently, and now, the Model Y is starting to gaining momentum.

Last year, Fremont police and the Spokane Police Department both bought Model Ys to use as patrol vehicles.

It can be hard for public agencies to justify buying the more expensive vehicles over the more popular Ford SUVs used for police patrol, but patrol vehicles cover so much mileage that gas savings can quickly add up.

The Boulder County Sheriff’s Office expects to recover its cost within 6 to 18 months.

With the average five-year life of a patrol vehicle, the savings could be massive.

They wrote in a press release:

“While the initial cost of a Tesla is higher than the Ford PI SUV, research and anecdotal evidence shows that the initial cost difference is made up within 6-18 months due to the significantly lower operating and ownership costs of the Tesla. Due to the simplicity of design and lack of moving parts, the Tesla is also expected to have a much longer service life than its internal combustion engine (ICE) counterparts. Law enforcement vehicles spend a great deal of time idling and engaging in sudden start/stop driving, which for ICE vehicles consumes significant amounts of fossil fuels and produces a lot of wear and tear on the engine components. Our data shows that over the average life of a patrol vehicle (5yrs/105,000mi), the Ford Police Interceptor’s fuel and maintenance costs equate to roughly $0.187 per mile driven, while the Tesla Model Y’s operating and maintenance costs equate to roughly $0.029 per mile driven. That equates to roughly $19,635 in fuel and maintenance costs for the Ford Police Interceptor SUV compared to only $3,045 for the Tesla Model Y.”

They have been working with several other police departments around the US who have previously adopted Tesla vehicles in their fleets, including the Bargersville Police Department in Indiana, the Fremont Police Department in California, and the Westport Police Department in Connecticut.

The Boulder County Sheriff’s Office also confirmed that it is working directly with Tesla.

While some police departments have been buying Tesla vehicles like any other customers, Tesla has been making moves lately to be directly involved in help law enforcement go electric.

In the UK, Tesla built its own Model 3 police patrol vehicle to be tested by police departments in the market.

The automaker has also been working on software to be integrated into its vehicles for police work.

FTC: We use income earning auto affiliate links. More.

Stay up to date with the latest content by subscribing to Electrek on Google News. You’re reading Electrek— experts who break news about Tesla, electric vehicles, and green energy, day after day. Be sure to check out our homepage for all the latest news, and follow Electrek on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn to stay in the loop. Don’t know where to start? Check out our YouTube channel for the latest reviews.



Avatar for Fred Lambert Fred Lambert

Fred is the Editor in Chief and Main Writer at Electrek.

You can send tips on Twitter (DMs open) or via email:

Through, you can check out Fred’s portfolio and get monthly green stock investment ideas.