The Brookhaven Police Department has purchased a 2015 Tesla electric car using $45,000 in confiscated funds. The purchase is part of a city-wide sustainable initiative to potentially replace all police patrol cars and other city vehicles with electric versions, according to city officials.

From left, Sgt. Jake Kissel, Mayor John Ernst, Police Chief Gary Yandura and Officer Carlos Nino with the 2015 Tesla Model S. The electric car will soon undergo performance tests at the Georgia Public Safety Training Center. If the car performs well, more electric vehicles like this one will be added to the fleet. (City of Brookhaven)

“I don’t know of any other city this side of the Mississippi that is testing an electric vehicle platform for patrol vehicles,” City Manager Christian Sigman said in a press release. “Other cities have electric cars for city planners, code enforcement and other officials. That’s not uncommon. We will be the first to use them for law enforcement patrol operations.”

The pre-owned Tesla Model S had 22,000 miles on the odometer and has a 100,000-mile, eight-year warranty. The car is slated to be sent to the Georgia Public Safety Training Center in Forsyth County within the next few weeks. The Tesla will not be put into official use and onto city streets until after the testing, according to city officials.

At the public safety center, the Tesla will undergo field testing for endurance and speed on a specialized track. The data of the Tesla’s tests will then be compared to current patrol cars and their mileage and usage patterns to determine the feasibility of how to move forward with electric vehicles. If cleared to be used as a patrol car, the Tesla will be tested for six months by the police department before a final decision is made to purchase more electric cars, according to city officials.

The Fremont Police Department in the San Francisco bay area debuted its Tesla Model S patrol car last month. The Los Angeles Police Department and Denver Colorado Police Department have had Tesla Model S vehicles in their fleets for a few years. And in Switzerland last year, a department purchased seven Tesla Model S cars.

In Brookhaven, the city’s new public safety headquarters to be built overlooking the Peachtree Creek Greenway will be fitted with four electric car chargers on site for public use and another four in a secure area where police officers will park. As the city looks to replace its police fleet with electric cars, the infrastructure for more electric charging stations is also included in the new project.

Brookhaven City Hall also has one electric car charger and plans are to replace that one station with four smart chargers in the next three months, according to city officials. The new Skyland Park has one electric car charging station and the city is planning to add two charging stations at Blackburn Park.

Dyana Bagby

Dyana Bagby is a staff writer for Reporter Newspapers and Atlanta Intown.