Westport Connecticut Police first to use Model 3's large battery for siren, radio, and lights with Tesla cooperation, replacing 10 mpg gas cruiser with stealthy, efficient EV

Posted by Paul Braren on Feb 23 2020 (updated on May 29 2020) in
  • Efficiency
  • Tesla
  • 1225439349895909378

    I'm a tech enthusiast and Tesla Model 3 owner who recently attended this special EV Club of CT event. I'm reporting what I learned about the technology, with information I was unable to find anywhere else. If you have serious interest in this Model 3 for fleet use and have questions, please contact the Westport Police Department after reading why this wasn't easy at Westport Police Tesla – What’s Next. If my long-form technical article below is just too much information for your taste, just skip to the video or photo gallery below. I can't be 100% certain it's the first Model 3 wired like this in the world, but based on the information given, it sure seems likely. Westport's ability to procure more like it is uncertain at this time.

    Backstory

    I first caught the news about the first Tesla police car in Connecticut back in December of 2019, but really I didn't realize the significance went far beyond the borders of our little state. This Model 3 Performance seems to be the very first Tesla in the world to be modified for police use with some level of cooperation from Tesla engineering. We'll get back to that in a bit more detail below, and in my detailed 4K video that features a thorough tour of this stealthy Model 3 Performance, followed by a presentation with a lively Q&A.

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    This event was hosted at CEO Phil Levieff's lovely TecKnow facility, open to the public, and I happen to live in Wethersfield Connecticut, just a bit over an hour away. I'm sure glad I made the electric drive down in my same-color Model 3 to get to see this car and meet these people, with the side benefit of a chance to continue my ongoing testing of the the first-in-Northeastern-US V3 Superchargers that just opened right along the way.

    Table of contents:

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    EV Club of CT meeting at TechKnow in Westport CT on Feb 20 2020.

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    Free Supercharging: If you find this article of value and decide to order a Tesla, please consider using this ts.la/paul68544 referral link when placing your order so you and I both get 1,000 miles of free Supercharging. If you order Solar, it's a $250 award after system activation.

    Disclosure: My family owns no stock in Tesla. Tesla doesn't advertise at TinkerTry, or anywhere else, and this is not a sponsored post. We financed the purchase of two Tesla Model 3s, replacing my 2006 Honda Civic Hybrid in December of 2018 and replacing my wife's 2005 Honda Civic EX in December of 2019. These big moves to an all electric household were an expression of our mutual desire to go green, avoid gasoline, be safe, have fun, and save money in the long run. Mostly for my job, I drive a lot, 25,000 miles in 2019 for example, and I thoroughly enjoy sharing what I've learned with you. I hope you can tell!


    You may have spotted that 10 mpg figure in the title of this article and been a bit skeptical. Until you consider how much of a traffic enforcement police officer's vehicle is spent idling during the typical shift. Only occasionally are they accelerating rather quickly to inject themselves into existing traffic safely. Pretty nice that Tesla's all wheel drive with incredible effective traction control means the officer can simply floor the accelerator in nearly any weather conditions, even during turns, with little skill required. Such abilities will certainly come in handy for patrolling busy Interstate 95, Route 15, and Route 1, all of which cross through this lovely small town.

    Sustainable-CT

    Now when you look at the average miles per gallon of 10 mpg for a given vehicle in this traffic enforcement roll, it starts to make sense. Or is that cents. Yes, money savings was a primary driver behind the purchase, along with a requirement to meet or exceeding the acceleration of the vehicle it replaced.

    The keynote speaker was Foti Koskinas, Chief of Police of the Westport Police Department since 2016. It's a bold move to put one's reputation on the line to convince First Selectman (Mayor) Jim Marpe and ultimately the tax payers that this was a good decision. An all-electric vehicle like the Model 3 is very much in line with Westport's goal of Net Zero by 2050, and this little town sure seems to be on the right path by taking this big first step. Note Westport has the highest per capita EV ownership in the state of Connecticut. It also about an hour from New York City, see also CNN's Your next NYC taxi could soon be a Tesla (Model 3).

    55,000 gallons of gasoline per year

    Got your attention? This one statistic really stuck out to me. This small town of Westport with just 26,000 citizens uses 55,000 gallons of fuel for its fleet of vehicles per year.

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    This police department keeps their vehicles to about 120,000 miles, and about 30,000 hours spent powered up but not moving. In a gas car, that's known as "idling." With this EV purchase, maybe they can go further, for longer.

    It will be interesting to see how the other mechanicals hold up to their tougher-than-usual duties, such as the expected premature seat wear from officers' gun belt, which Chief of Police Foti mentioned he expects to happen around 100,000 miles. The ultimate vegan leather seat test.

    Tesla's Model 3 batteries are claimed to be ready 500,000 miles, see also Elon Musk claiming:

    Model 3 drive unit & body is designed like a commercial truck for a million mile life. Current battery modules should last 300k to 500k miles (1500 cycles). Replacing modules (not pack) will only cost $5k to $7k.

    At least one story of a high mileage Model 3 seems to indicate this longevity could well be the case, but recently Elon added some clarifications about battery serviceability on his appearance on the 3rd row podcast.

    Of the battery life, Chief of Police Foti mentions:

    they are monitoring them, that's another thing that Tesla's working with us, and they can dial right in...standard operating procedure is to bring it in at 30%.

    He also mentions that over these first 2 mid-winter weeks of operation, the range has been enough charge to easily handle two 8 hour shifts, and they haven't had to go over 200 miles on a charge yet. They're typically taking around 5.5 hours to recharge overnight.

    Electrical

    Westport approached this project in conjunction with Tesla, the legitimate way, trying to avoid the need to add additional 12V batteries it a car that already has a giant 7.5 kW battery pack. I can see that trying to handle the limitations of the Model 3's small 12 volt battery tucked under the edge of the frunk (hood) wouldn't end well, It would have to take a lot of abuse from the constant power draw when parked, over-and-over per shift. Instead, you'll see in my NBC News screenshot what appears to be an inverter in the sub-trunk space, below. Naturally, to keep the siren, lights, police radio, and police tablet available full-time, you wouldn't really want to have to have the officer use Camping Mode as a work-around for the default electrical system's energy-saving time-out behavior on 12 volt. You need these electrical systems running full time.

    In the excellent TeslaTap 12 Volt Battery Compendium article, you'll find the key sentence:

    When driving, the DC-DC converter helps power the 12v system, and fewer charge cycles occur. A car left sitting, will need more charge cycles, and will age the 12v battery faster.

    with more details in the References section below.

    In other words, idling a lot, with the vampire drain that goes with it, is tough on that little 12 volt battery. There are even some old rumors that Tesla may do away with the 12V battery entirely someday, one less point of failure. But such a complete electrical redo could be a long way away.

    While we don't have the details, to draw power safely from the same 75 kWh battery pack that powers the dual motors, this car must somehow be fitted with a downconverter, to get from 350 volts or 48 volts down to 12 volts. That conversion hardware is likely some of what we're seeing in the sub-trunk area in the picture below, or that could just be more Motorola radio equipment. I hope to be able to have another chance to look under the hood and into the sub-trunk (where a gas tank would often normally be) during the upcoming New York International Auto show, since this Model 3 police car will be there for the press and public to see. That is, if I get a chance to attend.

    Westport-PD-Going-Green-With-Tesla-Squad-Car-screenshot-from-NBC4-video--TinkerTry
    Screenshot of NBC 4 video on Feb 21 2020, with the video seemingly removed as of Feb 22. My apologies this isn't of higher resolution.

    Model Y - Might consider

    Club leadership requested that I be very clear that it is by no means certain further purchases will be approved, and it's likely a lot of data and use cases will need to be proven out. Future vehicle discussions below are all just conjecture, please refrain from using sound bites or quoting any portion of this article or Chief of Police Foti out of context.

    Naturally, the topic of the Model Y came up, Chief of Police Foti said:

    So we'll certainly look at it [Model Y] because one of the concerns with this car [Model 3], if we're lucky to have a large fleet, is ground clearance during heavy snow...the way the bottom is it's like a sled really...if a higher platform is available, we'd certainly entertain it.

    After the event, off camera, I briefly showed him this very recent article and photo:

    tesla-model-y-size-comparison-higher-ride-height-easier-entry

    What better place to get feedback than a room full of EV owners, many of them with years of experience, including Bruce Becker, the man who was the very first Model 3 owner in Connecticut, a state where you can only lease a Tesla?

    Cybertruck - Might consider

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    "Tesla Cybertruck is turned into police vehicle by Ontario police" - Electrek tweet.

    At one point in the video, somebody asks what he thinks of the Cybertruck, and Chief of Police Foti did seem open to the idea, and mentioned that they do currently have some pickup trucks. It's early days for Westport, only 2 weeks into operation.

    I think it's likely Westport will need some more time with what they have before they'll be ready to take the next steps in deciding what's next, especially if it's not another Model 3.

    Back at the infamous broken-glass Cybertruck launch event, Fleet Forward was there and Chris Brown, who I know personally, wrapped up his fun and insightful assessment of the event saying:

    Some speculated on the show floor that the Cybertruck could be an off-road pursuit vehicle. If I’m to be arrested in any vehicle, I suppose it’d be that one.

    Model 3 - Here today

    Note, this newly upfitted car has only been put into service 2 weeks ago.

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    Photo thumbnail of Tesla Superbottle from TESLARATI, click to view detailed article.

    The Model 3 has a simple and extremely efficient heating and cooling system for the occupants and the battery, all thanks to the marvel of engineering called the Superbottle. I know that's nerdy, but the article really is quite interesting.

    FLIR-rear-seat-image-by-Paul-Braren-at-TinkerTry
    Photo of a Model 3 rear seat by Paul Braren at TinkerTry, taken with a FLIR thermal imaging camera attachment.

    The Model 3 also has seat heaters that can get occupants warm fast. There is no waiting for the engine to warm up for the ducted heat to warm up, it just starts blowing heat right away at whatever temperature you request, safely, even when garaged. No fumes.

    Yes, the ultimate police car, or taxi for that matter. Don't forget the potential for big money savings. Electricity costs far less than gas to move an efficient car around, even when electricity costs are relatively high like anywhere here in New England.

    Inquires have come in from all around the world, including Istanbul Turkey, Frankfurt Germany, Singapore Malaysia, and a city in New Zealand.

    Chief of Police Foti is a sudden tech pioneer. He has inspired so many across the globe to more carefully consider their next fleet purchase. Bruce respectfully called him a rock star, pointing out his positive influence.

    What will likely be watched very carefully is how things go in the long-term, including wear-and-tear, maintenance, efficiency, and safety.

    Safety

    model-3-lowest-probability-injury-any-vehicle-ever-tested-nhtsa

    Keep in mind that all Teslas now have a lot of safely-related accident-avoidance technology built-in, with an incredibly powerful HW3 computer onboard in recent models like this one. This dual-brain computer is watching the road at all times,enhancing driver safety even without Autopilot engaged. Yes, this includes an automatic emergency braking system where timing is everything.

    Chief of Police Foti stated:

    A police car that's doing the same sort of enforcement as we're doing with this car, we're lucky if we're getting 8 or 10 miles per gallon...If a car goes by you at 55, you've got to hit 75 to catch up to it...[often asked] why don't you get a Chevy Volt?...We need the performance...outperform what we currently have...[0-60] is 3.2. So what I tell people is just picture 55 going by you, for us there's a huge danger factor, the faster we need to go for the longer distance is the higher the risk, so the quicker we can accelerate in a shorter distance to pull behind the offender is a safety issue...if I don't have to do 85, now I have to do 65 or 70 to catch up to the car and I only have to do it for 2 tenths of a mile rather than 6 or 7 tenths of a mile, it's not hard to figure out how many people would have been in harm's way before we're ready to stop a car.

    Even though his department has no plans to use the included Autopilot feature (or optional future Full Self Driving), they are interested in using those built-in Dashcam / Sentry Mode cameras. One thing that sprang to my mind for reviewing Dashcam footage was something like a hardened version of Roadie for Tesla that I'm currently testing, and it's a Connecticut business. But it seems they have something in the works already.

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    Persistence pays

    Chief of Police Foti's persistence in trying to reach Tesla that eventually paid off, with a little help from somebody with an @harvard.edu email address helping move things a long a bit. Rather than reporting more about what was said, I think you'll enjoy trying to read hearing the rest yourself. This footage below is largely uncut and unedited, where I captured about 95% of the police portion of the EV Club of Connecticut event's agenda. While I sure was wishing I had a wireless lapel mic and wind blockers for this bitter cold and very windy night, I think most of the audio is good enough, and the crowd's casual conversations with a very down-to-earth Pepsi-drinking Foti worked out pretty well.

    TinkerTry's Take

    I think it's likely this pilot project will work out well in the end, but only time can tell for sure. They've got help with the math, given free labor for the electrical systems, and apparently having technology partners very interested in keeping things running smoothly for this closely-watched project. What will be more telling will be how other police departments fare with the fitting of the kit required for their municipality, perhaps at a considerable cost. Let's hope that blazing trails here can help get standards going for how things all get wired up here, a-pillar-concealed-antennas included.

    I also think that future use of the Model Y might be considerably different for the upfitters to tackle since the electrical system will be quite a bit different, and simpler. But the better abilities in snow and the greater rear seat room to put one of those passenger cages in likely will make it well worth it to take that on. Same goes for the Cybertruck, especially in more rugged terrain, or where bullet proofing is of even more importance.

    I personally found it electrifying to meet Foti and his department's first-of-its-kind Model 3 and I'm not alone, see also EV Club of CT's new article:

    speeders-beware-westport-police-tesla-model-3-police-car-on-patrol
    • The Tesla Model 3 police cruiser was the star of the EV Club meeting

      The Model 3 has been deployed to traffic, where its ability to accelerate quickly from a standing start is valuable from the perspective of officer and public safety, described in more detail in an earlier post here. Traffic is a big issue locally. There is plenty of it. The department receives numerous complaints from residents. Chief Foti described Westport as a “cut-through” town, given that both I-95 and the Merritt Parkway cross the town, and when there is a backup (which happens all the time), traffic spills onto local roads. There is also plenty of speeding and distracted driving.

      This particular patrol car is not a “black and white.” It is dark gray with police decals, a design that doesn’t stick out “until you want it to.”

    Video

    At several points in the video, I get close up views of the high-intensity red white and blue LEDs, and a lot of interesting technical conversation.

    Here's a few quotes from the video.

    There is a marketing studio here in Westport it's called Concept Studios...they're working with Tesla to do a short...video for Tesla for the whole build out from tearing the car apart.

    I gotta say, Tesla, when we said we were interested in the car, from day of doing the order and day delivered was less than 5 days...and it was the model that we wanted the color we wanted, maybe we got lucky, but I'm told no they wanted to get you guys a car.

    we're using their headlights and tailights
    ...they were very good [Tesla]. Initially, it wasn't so good in the beginning, we thought we'll have to do what every other police department did and muddle through and see what we can do...[Tesla said] we'll get you where you need to go, but we won't walk you through how to get there...

    TinkerTry YouTube Channel - Feb 20 2020 - Detailed tour of Westport CT Police Model 3, the first to use the big battery pack for accessories

    Below, I've chosen a few of the most relevant videos.

    Added May 29 2020 - This first clip is from the high school student doing a senior project on Tesla. Owen was the videographer you'll see many times in my clip, thankfully I didn't ruin his footage. What a great video, and what an inspiration, check it out!

    Owen Sparks - May 20 2020 - The Breaking Point | Senior Project Documentary

    Engineering deep dives next, selected from the Ingineerix Tesla Model 3 playlist.

    Ingineerix - Jul 26 2018 - Tesla Model 3 Power Conversion System

    Video ends with easy to service.

    Ingineerix - Jul 22 2018 - First Look: Tesla Model 3 Drive Unit
    Ingineerix - Aug 02 2018 - Tesla Model 3 - How to safely get 12v for accessories
    Ingineerix - Aug 02 2018 - Tesla Model 3 - UPDATE: How to safely get 12v for accessories

    You can see the Superbottle in this video.

    Ingineerix - Feb 16 2018 - Tesla Model 3 Stripped - Part 1 - Frunk Exploration
    Ingineerix - Feb 16 2018 - Tesla Model 3 - Exploded?!?

    Technology

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    • Fleet Auto Supply of West Haven CT donated 200 hours labor for the electrical install, subsequent installs are likely to be much faster now that everything has been figured out
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    • Whelen Engineering police light and siren controls
    • Ruggedized Tablet (wasn't shown), roughly $3000-$5000
    • Motorola Radio
    • All season tires from Nokian TYRE, likely the Nokian WR G4 235/45R18 98V XL (unconfirmed), which apparently aren't available on Tire Rack
    • In the sub trunk, fuse blocks seen, and a large electrical component with the Motorola logo, seen on Channel 4 NBC New York's video footage.

    Summary of information learned

    • Tesla Model 3 Performance, Stealth (18" tires, Aero wheel covers)
    • 18" wheels give them better pothole and curb handling.
    • If catching speeding vehicles, the risk with rapid acceleration to catch up lessens the risk to everybody else who happens to be nearby. See Electric vs Gas Cop Cars video below!
    • People getting a ticket say "that was the coolest car".
    • 100 Amp breaker with 2 gauge wire, and setting inside Tesla Wall Connector is set to max (48 amps).
    • Medical kit kept in the front trunk (frunk), on a heart attack call, an officer already remotely opened the frunk from the app on his phone, which facilitated assistance from others in a heart attack situation.
    • All antennas are hidden inside the a pillars.
    • Fire chief in New Hampshire will be getting Model 3 soon.
    • I regret not asking to have a look at the odometer's read-out of watt hours per mile, to get a sense of their overall efficiency so far.
    • I also regret not asking to have a look under the hood (frunk) or under the trunk (sub-trunk).

    Apr 08 2020 Update

    Out of Spec Motoring - Apr 07 2020 - Should Police use EVs? Tesla Model 3 vs Crown Vic Police Interceptor

    Kyle takes his Model 3 Performance and ex legitimate cop car (yes Kyle did buy it for this test and some more to come) to the Out of Spec track for a series of challenges. We attempt to see if electric cars are better suited for police work than ICE vehicles.


    May 08 2020 Update

    OmjLR--kg
    Click for web playback, cued to just the right spot.

    In the "Why don't they just" segment on May 8 2020's Our Ludicrous Future podcast, listener Tony asks at this spot:

    Why don't they just offer a police package on their vehicles for Tesla? Making a fleet aka non-luxury version of their vehicles and make them less expensive and more enticing for local government.

    Tim responded:

    I've been saying this for a long time, especially when Cybertruck came out, I think it makes perfect sense...those interceptor packages...those are expensive, I actually think Tesla could undercut them and totally reduce their monthly coss...absolutely that should be looked into.

    Joe responded:

    Model Y and a Cybertruck might be a good fit.

    Listening to this podcast episode, I was like ooo ooo, have you seen my article about Westport Connecticut's Model 3, and how it uses the main battery pack for accessories? How about I tweet that to @LudicrousFuture. Done!

    If you love EVs and Space, you'll love hearing Joe Scott, Tim Dodd and Ben Sullins tell you all about Our Ludicrous Future, subscribe here.


    May 26 2020 Update

    Hulpdiensten Rotterdam-oost - May 06 2019 - BMW i3 Metropolitan Police responding in London

    There just isn't the availability of Teslas in Europe yet, meanwhile, EVs are becoming popular as police cars there too.


    Social

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    References

    FAS-Fleet-Auto-Supply-facebook-page-image-2020-02-23

    Whelen-Galls

    Nokian-TYRE

    12-volt-battery-compendium
    Thumbnail image from TeslaTap, click to visit the source article with full resolution images.
    • 12 Volt Battery Compendium

      ...
      The Model 3 uses a 45 Ah, AGM Battery. One supplier is AtlasBX with the model 85B24LS.
      ...
      The Model 3 integrates the charger and the DC-DC converter into a single package, the PCS (Power Conversion System).
      ...
      Battery Longevity
      In new Tesla cars, the 12V battery lasts about 3-4 years for most owners, although paradoxically, if you put a few miles on the car, it may last as little as 1-2 years. The difference is how many discharge/charge cycles the battery goes through and how deeply the battery is discharged. When driving, the DC-DC converter helps power the 12v system, and fewer charge cycles occur. A car left sitting, will need more charge cycles, and will age the 12v battery faster.
      ...

    westport-police-tesla-model-3-whats-next
    • Westport Police Tesla – What’s Next
      Feb 26 2020 by Barry Kresch at EV Club of CT

      ...
      These are the specific tasks we are aware of:

      Integrate Tesla headlights and taillights so they can be used as part of police emergency lighting. Tesla recoded for this.

      Access the Sentry cameras for use as dashcam and license plate readers. Tesla worked with the WPD vendors and this is happening. The police can now avoid purchasing new cameras, which they normally have to do. And the Tesla cameras are superior.
      ...

    Editors note: I found this article below after publishing this article.

    tesla-model-3-police-cruiser-sentry-mode-official-use
    • New Tesla Model 3 cruiser uses Sentry Mode for official police use
      Feb 06 2020 by Joey Klender at TESLARATI

      ...
      Impressively, the addition of these mods are expected to not drastically affect the vehicle’s battery or its range, according to the department. Westport PD ran a series of tests to see if the additional electrical apparatuses would bring down the 322 miles of range. The results indicated that the decrease in range was negligible.
      ...
      [Mad Money's Cramer -] “This is a unique technology company on wheels, with incredible growth. Their product uses less energy and produces far fewer carbon emissions in a world where consumers actually care about that stuff,” he said.
      ...

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    tesla-model-3-model-y-under-consideration-police-test-drive

    tesla-model-3-new-york-city-taxi

    see-whats-under-the-frunk-of-a-tesla-model-3

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    tesla-model-3-superbottle-disruption-video

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    • First Tesla Model 3 in Connecticut gets rave review
      Feb 16 2018 by Sophie Vaughan at Westport News

      WESTPORT — Bruce Becker woke up at 4 a.m. on a day in late March 2016 and drove from Westport to the Tesla store in Mount Kisco, N.Y., to put his name on the list for a Tesla Model 3 electric vehicle. He was third in line.

      After a nearly two-year wait, he finally picked up his car Monday.

      “I’m an environmentalist and an architect and developer and I’ve spent the last 10 years of my career trying to create buildings that don’t rely on fossil fuels,” said Becker, who grew up in New Canaan. “What I came to realize is cars actually have a bigger impact on the environment than buildings. With all the energy I’m spending trying to make green buildings, it was crazy for me to ignore my own personal driving habits.”

    TecKnow-sign
    TecKnow - Smart Living Ecosystems

    See also

    In the news.

    • WNBC Comes to Town to See the Police Model 3
      wnbc-comes-to-town-to-see-the-police-model-3

      Feb 08 2020 by Barry Kresch at EV Club of CT

      WNBC-TV, New York, sent a news crew at the crack of dawn on Feb 5 to video the Police Model 3 Vehicle and speak to Westport First Selectman Jim Marpe.

      The station’s new personnel arrived before sunrise, making the lights on the Model 3 seem that much more dramatic. They spoke with the police and First Selectman Jim Marpe about the town’s thinking behind the pioneering decision to incorporate a Model 3 into the police patrol car fleet. This was organized with the help of Sustainable Westport.
      ...
      This is the link to the WNBC website for the report.

    • It’s Official: Tesla Open for Leasing in Milford
      its-official-tesla-open-for-leasing-in-milford

      Feb 11 2020 by Barry Kresch at EV Club of CT

      ...
      Prospective leasing customers are permitted to take a test drive.
      It is technically called a demonstration drive, and the wording in the liability release is a little different reflecting the fact that it is in the service of a prospective lease, but it’s a test drive.
      The first step to direct sales?
      Tesla is still not permitted to sell directly to consumers, unlike in our neighboring states of New York, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and, for that matter, the majority of the country. What prevents Tesla from doing so are the so-named dealer franchise laws that were written decades ago to protect the dealerships from their own affiliated manufacturers.
      ...

    • Westport Police Department Buys $52K Tesla Model 3 Patrol Car
      westport-police-department-buys-52k-tesla-model-3-patrol-car

      Dec 10 2019 by Alfred Branch at Patch

      The all-electric vehicle cost the town considerably more than a regular patrol car, but officials hope to save in fuel & maintenance costs.
      ...
      Compared to a $37,000 typical Ford Explorer police vehicle, the all-electric 2020 Tesla is significantly more expensive in upfront costs, but Westport Police Chief Foti Koskinas "expects to more than make up for that in fuel and maintenance savings over the life of the vehicle."
      ...

    • Westport Police Buys First Tesla Squad Car in Conn.
      westport-police-buys-first-tesla-squad-car-in-conn

      Dec 10 2019 by NBCCT

      Chief of Police Foti Koskinas said he was impressed by the superior performance, 5-star crash ratings and collision avoidance technology that's available in the Tesla Model 3. Officers do not plan to use the autopilot feature.

      The department said they spent more on the initial purchase for the Tesla Model 3 compared to buying another Ford Explorer, but said they plan to save money on things including maintenance and gasoline in the long run.

      The Westport Police Department plans to host an open house in the spring so residents can come see the new Tesla in person and learn about how it's helping the department.
      ...

    Fleet-Forward-teslas-electric-pickup-is-it-a-work-truck-1-thumbnail
    • Tesla's Electric Pickup: Is It a Work Truck?
      Nov 22 2019 by Chris Brown at Automotive Fleet

      The night of broken glass: In the event’s soon-to-be legendary “uh-oh moment,” Musk asked Tesla’s chief designer, Franz von Holzhausen, to test the window strength by throwing a steel ball at it. It broke, twice.

      Photo by Chris Brown

    • Governor Ned Lamont is 'Going Green' with TecKnow in Westport, Connecticut
      blog-award-green-building

      Sep 24 2019 by Phil Levieff at TeckKnow

      Did you know that the town of Westport, CT is well underway in achieving its goal of becoming a net zero community by 2040?

      This is being accomplished by locals (individuals and businesses) sustainably managing energy, water and waste resolutions. Using environmentally responsible solutions, like the TecKnow Smart Living Ecosystem, put home and business owners ‘in charge’ of their environmental footprint. Utilizing two American infrastructure companies, Tesla Energy and Apple Computers, to create seamless automations in conserving energy.

      Read More


    See also at TinkerTry

    All Tesla related videos and articles:

    tinkertryd-tesla-charging

    CrossClimate

    first-v3-supercharger-in-the-northeastern-us-in-fairfield-connecticut

    tesla-on-hgg429

    differences-between-2018-and-2020-tesla-model-3

    one-year-and-25k-miles-of-tesla-model-3-is-going-incredibly-well

    tesla-tuesday

    model-3-blows-leaf-and-bolt-away

    tesla-model-3-known-good-charging

    tesla-model-3-known-good-accessories

    experiencing-the-first-falcon-heavy-launch-from-7-miles-away

    elon-musk-powerwall-inspires-world-change

    These are a mix of regular flash and no-flash photography, and some screenshots from the 4K video.

    Right-side-Tesla-Model-3-police-car-by-Paul-Braren--TinkerTry
    Right-side-straight-on-Tesla-Model-3-police-car-by-Paul-Braren--TinkerTry
    IMG_9877.JPG
    View of the DUAL MOTOR logo with the subtle Performance underline. Likely a stealth Performance, with normal brake calipers and 18" wheels. Pretty apparent the retro-reflective bumper treatment and POLICE word are effective when I used my flash.
    IMG_9878.JPG
    Night mode, no flash.
    Front-with-lights-Tesla-Model-3-police-car-by-Paul-Braren--TinkerTry.JPG
    Front-with-lights-2-Tesla-Model-3-police-car-by-Paul-Braren--TinkerTry.JPG
    Nokian-TYRE
    Aero wheel covers and aftermarket 18" Nokian Tyres.
    Trunk-with-gun-Tesla-Model-3-police-car-by-Paul-Braren--TinkerTry.JPG
    When the car is being used by an officer, firearms are secured in the trunk.
    Police-lights-just-turned-on-Tesla-Model-3-police-car-by-Paul-Braren--TinkerTry.JPG
    Handheld control to turn lights and siren on, with radio secured to the center console with magnets, seen at lower left.
    screenshot-of-video-of-underside-of-right-side-view-mirror-by-Paul-Braren--TinkerTry
    High intensity LED affixed firmly to the underside of right side-view mirror.
    Front-grill-LED-added-Tesla-Model-3-Westport-CT-police-car-2020-02-20-by-Paul-Braren--TinkerTry.JPG
    Grille under front bumper has added LEDs, this is the right one.
    Whelen-police-lights-control-Tesla-Model-3-police-car-by-Paul-Braren--TinkerTry.JPG
    Control for siren, and the added red and blue lights.
    ROADPRO-and-magnetic-mounts-in-center-console-Tesla-Model-3-police-car-by-Paul-Braren--TinkerTry.JPG
    Center console left open, but it appears the radio at left and the light controls at right could be stowed inside or outside of the console, with magnetic attachments for either.
    Motorola-on-side-of-center-console-Tesla-Model-3-police-car-by-Paul-Braren--TinkerTry.JPG
    Motorola

    Specifications

    As far as we know, this is a stock Model 3 Performance, with stealth 18" wheels. It might be model year 2020, with delivery taken in December of 2019. Here's the listed factory specifications for that vehicle.

    T'20P = 2020 Tesla Model 3 Performance

    • MPG / MPGe
    • T'20P: 116 MPGe - 120 city, 112 highway (29 kW-hr per 100 miles). Source - US Dept. of Energy.

    • Range
      T'20P: 322 miles. Source - EPA listing for 2020, but true for 2018 too via software.

    • Horsepower
      T'20P: 450 hp. Source.

    • Torque
      T'20P: 471 lb-ft. Source.

    • Acceleration
      T'20P: 0-60 mph 3.2 seconds, Quarter Mile 11.5 sec at 116.5 mph. Source for 0-60 and source for quarter mile.
      Non-OE (aftermarket) tires and additional weight from equipment can affect these numbers, of course. State of charge and extreme cold can slightly reduce these numbers too..

    • Tires
      T'20P: 18 in. rims, P235/45R18 - WR G4. Source.

    • Braking
      T'20P: 60-0 mph in TBD ft.

    • Weight
      T'20P: 4,072 lbs. Source..
      As-delivered, before the installation of aftermarket police accessories.

    • NHTSA Safety Ratings
      T'20P: All 5 stars, details at Source NHTSA for RWD.

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    Disclosure: My family owns no stock in Tesla. Tesla doesn't advertise at TinkerTry, or anywhere else, and this is not a sponsored post. We financed the purchase of two Tesla Model 3s, replacing my 2006 Honda Civic Hybrid in December of 2018 and replacing my wife's 2005 Honda Civic EX in December of 2019. These big moves to an all electric household were an expression of our mutual desire to go green, avoid gasoline, be safe, have fun, and save money in the long run. Mostly for my job, I drive a lot, 25,000 miles in 2019 for example, and I thoroughly enjoy sharing what I've learned with you. I hope you can tell!