Australia gets its first fully electric cop car as Victoria Police adds Tesla Model X to highway patrol

Inspector Stuart Bailey with Victoria Police’s Tesla Model X (image supplied)
  • Victoria Police has added Tesla Model X to its highway patrol fleet and will trial the vehicle across the state.
  • The Model X SUV can accelerate from 0 to 100 kilometres an hour in 4.9 seconds and retails from $127,200.
  • Highway Patrol Inspector Stuart Bailey says he anticipates the state’s police force could be all-electric by 2029.

If you’re a Victorian lawbreaker, you might want to think twice about trying to outrun the cops in a high speed chase.

Victoria Police announced Monday it has added a Tesla model X — an electric SUV which holds a drag racing record and can accelerate from 0 to 100 kilometres an hour in 4.9 seconds — to its highway patrol fleet.

The one-off procurement of the vehicle, which retails at a minimum of $127,200 in Australia according to CarAdvice, is part of a “feasibility study into developing fully integrated electric, IT-based police vehicles for fleet use” and is an Australian first, according to Victoria Police.

It will be a fully-operational high patrol car and will be trialed in areas across the state, including the Bass Coast, Latrobe Valley and Dandenong. The signature over-sized Tesla dashboard screen will allow cops to more easily display mobile data, view the footage of body-worn cameras and access automatic numberplate detection information.

In a video posted by the Victoria Police official Twitter account, state Highway Patrol Inspector Stuart Bailey said he anticipates an electric future of the police force.

“This is the future, there’s no doubt,” Bailey said. “I can see in 10 years time that everyone one of our cars will be an electric car and can you imagine that? We’re not paying anything for the fuel, just the electricity which is about a quarter of the price.”

The startling top speed wasn’t the only factor in the move to introduce the Tesla X. A statement from Road Policing Command Assistant Commissioner Stephen Leane said there is also a green motivation.

“There is also a great environmental benefit to electric vehicles and considering our State Highway Patrol vehicles travel thousands of kilometres on the road per year, we should always be looking at ways we can lessen our impact on the environment,” Leane said.

“Our Highway Patrol cars are equipped with cutting edge technology and this car gives us the opportunity to investigate having these technologies in a fully integrated in-car system which has the potential of streamlining the road policing effort.”

A number of international police departments have trialed the addition of Tesla vehicles, including the Fremont Police in California.

Californian cops have also experienced the negative side of Tesla’s experimental technology, with a Model S crashing into a parked police car in Laguna Beach while on autopilot in May 2018.

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