Victoria Police have revealed today that they have acquired their first fully-electric police car, as part of their highway patrol fleet.
The Tesla Model X is a big step up from the modified Holden Commodores of years gone by.
Capable of accelerating to 100km/hr in just 4.9 seconds, it’s got a decent chance of getting up to speed and catching most regular vehicles that are caught speeding.
Insp Stuart Bailey told the Herald Sun that this is the fastest vehicle in their fleet.
This performance is obviously met with some questions around cost. A pursuit vehicle never comes cheap, but the price tag of the Model X (recently reduced) is now between $116,000 and $141,000 depends on options. Victoria Police aren’t putting an exact figure on it, which I hope means Tesla cut them a deal to get at least some Government agencies to understand what an electric future looks like.
The next question is charging and range. Obviously the vehicle needs to be capable of driving to pursuit-ready positions as well as undertaking the pursuit itself. The Model X has a range of 550km which is unlikely to be an issue. With a charging time or around 45 minutes to an hour, the car could be recharged and ready to go again after lunch. I see this as fairly practical, breaking the day up into 2x 4hr blocks rather than imagining 1 full day of driving. The Police obviously have the data around their current usage and believe this is acceptable.
The Herald Sun reports that technicians are working to integrate Victoria Police’s communication and data systems with the Tesla’s 17-inch display. Not that’s interesting as Tesla don’t have an API for 3rd party developers to integrate with. Typically Policy bolt on their crazy array of scanners, comms, radar etc into the vehicle, but it would be great if they could leverage that large display.
Victoria Police have released a video of the Model X, with a mockup of what they’re planning for the prototype software.
As you can see, the mockup UI is terrible compared to Tesla-developed software. While I understand the need to replicate the devices in other Police vehicles and avoid retraining, it is grinding on the eyes to see this.
The Model X will initially be based in the police regions taking in the Casey, Dandenong, La Trobe, Baw Baw and Wangaratta regions.