Victoria Police has become one of the first jurisdictions in the world to put an all-electric vehicle into its operational fleet.
From today, Victoria Police’s Road Policing Command will utilise the Tesla Model X all-electric SUV in highway patrol operational duties, a first for an Australian police organisation.
Victoria Police purchased the Model X as part of a feasibility study into developing fully integrated electric, IT-based police vehicles for fleet use. The one-off procurement has allowed Victoria Police to undertake a research and development project on the vehicle.
This project will see Victoria Police work with Tesla engineers, emergency equipment manufacturers, the department’s vehicle installation contractor and Victoria Police’s IT and communications technicians in fitting equipment and integrating police software into the Model X’s on-board system.
One of the world’s fastest accelerating SUV, the Tesla Model X will be a fully fitted and functioning Highway Patrol vehicle and will be trialled across various regions in consultation with the Road Policing Command.
“This vehicle is unlike any other Victoria Police has ever had in its fleet and could well be the future of road policing in this state, country and the world,” Road Policing Command Assistant Commissioner Stephen Leane said.
“Our Highway Patrol cars are equipped with cutting edge technology and this car gives us the opportunity to investigate having these technologies in a fully integrated in-car system which has the potential of streamlining the road policing effort.
“There is also a great environmental benefit to electric vehicles and considering our State Highway Patrol vehicles travel thousands of kilometres on the road per year, we should always be looking at ways we can lessen our impact on the environment.”
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AC Leane said the vehicle will undergo constant assessment while in operation to further determine its suitability for road policing duties.
“It is important to remember this is a concept vehicle for Victoria Police and we acknowledge that it will produce a number of unique circumstances and will continue to evolve as police software is integrated,” he said.
“Vehicles are obviously critical to the work we do as they represent the mobile office for many of our frontline police and projects such as these mean that when the switch does inevitably happen, our job of keeping Victorians safe will not be compromised.”
In top-spec P100D form, the Tesla Model X is equipped with a 100kWh battery pack and powered by dual electric motors – a 375kW motor driving the rear axle and a smaller 193kW unit propelling the front axle. With a combined output of 397kW and a colossal 967Nm of torque, the Model X can sprint from 0 to 100km/h in just 3.1 seconds.