A new LAPD electric patrol car on loan from Tesla on display at the police headquarters. Photo courtesy of the LAPD
A new LAPD electric patrol car on loan from Tesla on display at the police headquarters. Photo courtesy of the LAPD

Mayor Eric Garcetti announced Friday the city has committed to leasing a fleet of 160 battery-powered electric vehicles and 128 hybrid cars, which will be used in the police, fire, utility and other city departments.

Garcetti said the anticipated city fleet of 160 purely electric cars would be the biggest in the nation.

“Today, we take another step toward becoming the most sustainable city in America,” Garcetti said.

“This year, Los Angeles will become home to the largest city-owned fleet of pure battery electric vehicles anywhere in the country, and we will save taxpayer dollars along the way.”

Garcetti said he was making the announcement ahead of next week’s U.S.-China Climate Leaders Summit.

The Los Angeles Police Department will lease 100 of the battery-powered electric vehicles.

Another 44 of the battery powered electric vehicles and 113 of the plug-in hybrid vehicles will be leased by the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power.

It was also announced Friday that Tesla and BMW will be loaning cars to the police department to test drive.

Tesla will be loaning its Model S P85D, which retails at about $120,000, for three months, while the BMWi will be loaned to department for 12 months, LAPD Police Administrator Vartan Yegiyan told City News Service.

Yegiyan, who manages the department’s vehicle fleet, said “both vehicles are the highest quality electric vehicles” and are good candidates for the department to learn how such vehicles could be incorporated into their fleet in the future.

“Tesla is famous for its long-riding capability, which averages over 200 miles,” as well as for its speed and spaciousness, while the BMWi is smaller, but it has it has won many awards and is “one of the most advance in electric vehicles,” Yegiyan said.

The two cars will be tested as non-patrol cars, driven on the track to see how they perform in patrol-related maneuvers, and if all goes well, potentially used in the field, Yegiyan said.

“What LAPD wants to do is learn about the electric vehicles, learn and test how they operate and how they function in every day business and also apply electric vehicles on the road the way police officers drive,” he said.

The cars were on display at Los Angeles Police Department headquarters Friday, and will again be shown at an electric car showcase organized by the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power at Exposition Park on Sunday.

— City News Service

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