Can low emission electric vehicles meet or exceed the performance needs of police patrol cars?
Answering that question was the purpose of Councilmember Haidar Awad’s test drive event held on October 17, 2019 but it wasn’t all technical—for many, it was a rollercoaster-ride experience. “Tesla has consistently earned a 5-star safety rating from NHTSA,” announced Councilmember Awad, “we want a greener and more efficient citys. Today we’re here to test Tesla performance qualifications for our Hawthorne Police Department.”
The national average life span of a police vehicle is 100,000 miles or two years. That’s because police cars encounter grueling road use and every one hour of idling is equivalent to driving approximately 25 miles. Police chiefs and captains from Gardena, Manhattan Beach, Culver City, El Segundo, and Hermosa Beach joined Hawthorne Police Chief Michael Ishii and his officers as they put several Tesla models through a drive course set up at the Hawthorne Memorial Center.
“We have a straight-away set up to accelerate the Tesla from 0 to 60 miles per hour in under 3 seconds,” said Councilmember Awad, “it’s amazingly fast because there’s a motor driving each wheel.” Almost immediately the driver had to corner the vehicle at high speed and then continue to curve in a U-shape, maintaining control throughout the turn. Then they had to navigate through an S-turn, then break hard. “Besides enjoying putting these cars through high speed moves, it’s clear that they can get the job done,” said Councilmember Awad. “With Tesla’s design center in Hawthorne, it only made sense to look at their vehicles as a viable option as we replace our existing fleet.” The Hawthorne Police Department is scheduled to receive a loaned Tesla vehicle to further test its use in the department.