Leawood police add Tesla to fleet of patrol cars

The Leawood Police Department is adding a Tesla to its fleet of patrol vehicles.
The Leawood Police Department is adding a Tesla to its fleet of patrol vehicles.(Leawood Police Department)
Published: Jun. 29, 2022 at 3:07 PM CDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

LEAWOOD, Kan. (KCTV) - If you see the profile of a Leawood police car and it looks different to you, it might just be their new Tesla.

This week, the Leawood Police Department put a Tesla Model Y into its fleet of patrol cars. It has been painted black and white, as you would expect.

The department said they started looking into the idea of adding an electric vehicle to the fleet last year after they saw that reviews for hybrid patrol cars that are currently available were not good.

“I ended up contacting about 10 agencies from New York to California,” said Captain Kirt Yoder, the agency’s project manager. “Tesla-Kansas City was great. They were eager to help and answer all our questions.”

More than a year ago, a cost comparison was done that showed the current Ford Explorer patrol SUV would cost about $4,500 per year as far as energy costs go. At that time, the city could get gas for $1.75 per gallon. Meanwhile, the Tesla would have cost $648 per year in energy costs. That figure was based on the 2021 cost of $0.08 per kilowatt hour.

In August, a presentation was made to the city council and they unanimously gave the police department the go-ahead.

The department worked with outfitters at Ka-Comm Inc. in Olathe. Now, their new Tesla is finally ready to hit road.

They expect the Tesla to have a four-year service life. Somewhat surprisingly, they said that’s a year longer than the Ford Explorer it replaced.

“I think electric vehicles are going to be the future and this is going to be a good foundation for us,” Captain Yoder said. “Some officers have concerns because this is a smaller vehicle and the extra equipment (of a patrol car) eats into their work space, but others are excited for the new technology.”

If you’re interested, you will be able to see the new Tesla patrol vehicle on July Fourth at Leawood City Park.