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Eden Prairie Police Department adds Tesla to patrol fleet

It's the city's first fully electric vehicle.

The Eden Prairie Police Department has added a fully electrical vehicle to its patrol fleet. 

The police department is piloting a 2021 Tesla Model Y, testing it for 100,000 miles and it will continually evaluate it for overall performance, a news release says. It marks the city's first fully electric vehicle. 

“The EPPD is excited to deploy our first fully electric patrol car this week, which will be used for traffic enforcement and various other patrol functions. Based on our research, as well as anecdotes from police departments across the country that have started using them, we anticipate a high level of performance and low maintenance costs from our Tesla Model Y," EPPD Chief Matt Sackett said in a statement. 

The 2021 Tesla Model Y has a starting MSRP of $39,990, Cars.com says.

This is the latest upgrade as the City of Eden Prairie moves toward carbon neutrality by 2050. The City began converting to hybrid vehicles more than a decade ago — it has 129 light-duty vehicles and of them, two are plug-in hybrid and 10 are hybrids. 

The city notes that police patrol vehicles are one of the most "heavily used vehicles" in a city fleet and are one of the least likely to be considered when switching fleets to electric. 

"With Eden Prairie’s Climate Action Plan goal in mind, an internal work group researched the potential use of an electric vehicle as a patrol car, which resulted in the purchase of the Model Y," the release said.

Fully electric vehicles are often more expensive to buy but have lower operating costs throughout the life of the vehicle when compared to internal combustion engines, the city said. That's because they don't use fuel and often have fewer mechanical parts for repair and maintenance.

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The city found in an analysis that compared the Model Y to the city's standard Dodge Charge patrol vehicle showed a "slight lifecycle cost savings" and a "significant reduction" in greenhouse gas emissions. 

The Tesla will inform Eden Prairie's future decisions about using fully electric fleet vehicles and serve as a model for other cities, the release said. The city also hopes it inspires residents to choose electric vehicles. 

A 2019 Eden Prairie News story says the city leads the state of Minnesota in electric vehicle adoption. 

The city's sustainability website is here

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