Tesla may see its break into the police car market through a contract with Scotland Yard.
London’s police department has been in talks with Tesla CEO Elon Musk that could bring in up to 700 Tesla vehicles customized for the client.
Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe, chief of Metropolitan Police, has been in talks with Tesla on what it can provide the department. The city has a budget over $26.5 million to replace 700 of its 4,000 vehicle police fleet by 2018. The first part of the plan will bring in 250 vehicles in the next 12 months.
Hogan-Howe is being directed to bring in more environmentally friendly vehicles to the police fleet.
The electric vehicles would be charged in the city’s network or 1,400 charging points that will be expanded to 6,000 by the end of 2018.
Tesla has offered to bring Superchargers into the city.
“These first vehicles are a stepping stone that will allow us to build the volume over time once we have the right technology and infrastructure in place,” said Jiggs Bharij the head of the Metropolitan Police fleet services to the Evening Standard.
London has been looking into other options include the BMW i3 Range Extender option. Five hydrogen fuel cell vehicles are being tested out, and Suzuki may provide hydrogen-powered police scooters.
If Tesla is going to win the contract, it’s likely that the upcoming Model 3 will be part of the deal. Doing the math in U.S. dollars, if 700 electric vehicles will be purchased for about $26.5 million in London’s budget, the average acquisition cost would be about $37,857 per vehicle.
That’s much closer to the Tesla Model 3 than even the low-end Model S options. Tesla could offer a fleet discount with a mix of Model 3s and a few Model S and Model X units in the deal. The police purchase will take a few years, which could be ideal for Model 3 deliveries.
Tesla has already established a foothold in the UK, with retail stores being placed in the country.
Whichever Tesla vehicles may be acquired will need to be customized with exterior paint and capacity for handling police equipment, which is known for draining a lot of power from vehicle batteries.
Tesla is definitely interested in serving the law enforcement market. Departments are looking for electric cruisers that reduce emissions and fuel consumption but can also provide the torque and performance needed in high-speed pursuits. Tesla should do well in those tests.
SEE ALSO: LAPD Reconsidering Tesla Model S Patrol Cars
Last year, Tesla lost out to BMW with the Los Angeles Police Department, which acquired 100 all-electric i3s for its fleet. In October, the LAPD began reconsidering Tesla.
LAPD gave the Model S a second look, even though the costs had been too high. The police department needs faster acceleration and longer range than what the BMW i3 currently offers. The LAPD may bring in some Tesla vehicles, but the cost will probably have to come down.
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