The Brookhaven Police Department’s Tesla electric car “performed well” during field testing at the Georgia Public Safety Training Center on June 25 and will now be patrolling city streets for a 90-day trial period. During those three months, the city will evaluate the potential of replacing all its cars with electric vehicles.

Watching the testing of the Brookhaven Police Department’s $45,000 Tesla at the Georgia Public Safety Training Center are, from left, Chief Gary Yandura, GPSTC Executive Director Chris Wigginton and Mayor John Ernst. (City of Brookhaven)

The police department purchased the previously owned 2015 Tesla Model S in March for $45,000 using money confiscated from drug-related arrests. The car has been outfitted with special equipment needed by police vehicles, including computers and sirens.

A major reason to consider switching to electric police cars is cost savings, according to the city.

The current police fleet includes 36 Ford Tauruses, 36 Ford Explorers, two Ford Escapes, one Ford F-150 EcoBoost and 11 Chevrolet Impalas. Costs to repair and maintain the vehicles in 2018 totaled nearly $140,000. Gasoline costs totaled nearly $223,000.

“We are always looking for ways to reduce our impact on the environment and conserve resources for future generations,” said Mayor John Ernst in a news release. Ernst drives a Nissan Leaf and is an advocate of electric vehicles.

The 2015 Tesla was tested on two performance tracks at the GPSTC in Forsyth, one designed for high-speed emergency response and the other for urban emergency response, according to the city. “Overall, the vehicle performed well under rigorous testing,” according to a news release.

If the inaugural Tesla performs well during its 90-day trial period on patrol in Brookhaven, it is possible that, over time, all city vehicles will be replaced with electric cars, but not necessarily Teslas, according to a spokesperson.

The Tesla undergoes testing on a performance track at the GPSTC in Forsyth, Ga. (Special)

Dyana Bagby

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