Westport Connecticut's year old Tesla Model 3 cost analysis predicts tens of thousands in savings vs 10 mpg gas car

Posted by Paul Braren on Jun 9 2021 in
  • Efficiency
  • EVs
  • Tesla
  • Westport-CT-Police-with-their-Model-3-Performance-in-2021
    Photo by Westport Police. Click/tap twice to really zoom in. Police Chief Foto Koskinas at left, Officer Sampson at right, and the first-of-its-kind 2020 Tesla Model 3 Performance at the Westport Connecticut Police Station.

    I don't want to detract from the power of this article with a lot of words. The headline speaks for itself, and the article carefully backs up those claims:


    This story about the big savings have been picked up by many sites, and a particularly prominent tweet by @mayemusk, and a very helpful tweet by Connecticut's neighbor @TeslaNY.

    I'm not surprised. Let's just think about the speed enforcement use-case. Much of the time waiting for speeders is spent at idle, and in this use-case, their Ford Explorers get just 10 mpg on average. With an EV, idle is no big deal: there is no engine left running. Bursts of power are used to get up to speed, but only for a very few seconds. The aerodynamics of all Teslas are pretty incredible, and the safety is the best in the world. The battery lasts for 2 shifts, then it's charged during the 3rd shift.

    Note, Tesla's warranty is 50,000 miles standard / 100,000 miles powertrain. The projected costs are likely quite accurate, with very few service surprises likely. There are nearly a million Model 3 are on the road already, and many have gone well past 100,000 miles. There are numerous examples of documented service histories available online, here's an example where just $390 was spent for service & parts in 50,000 miles.

    This careful analysis article was published about 15 months after this car was put into service, and was reviewed by the Town of Westport for accuracy prior to publication. I also recorded some 4K video as Police Chief Foti Koskinas showed us around this very special Model, highlighting some of it's unique attributes including a frunk that's accessible by paramedics without gaining access to the rest of the vehicle. It's a nice follow-up to my original, in-depth footage taken in February of 2020.

    These findings are pretty compelling, don't you think? Feel free to drop a comment below! See also my response to the comments below this article.


    Video by Paul Braren for EV Club of Connecticut. Police Chief Foti Koskinas gives the group a look at their Model 3 after 1 year and 13,000 miles of service.
    Sep 27 2020 - National Drive Electric Week Green Wheels Expo featuring Westport CT Tesla Model 3 Police Cruiser
    May 01 2020 - Andy Slye - Tesla Model 3 REVIEW After 2 Years!



    See also some spirited discussion below Dan Woog's Westport Cops Go Green — Add Tesla To The Fleet:

    Seth Kent | December 10, 2019 at 4:58 pm |
    A Tesla is essentially a luxury item and a novelty; what a wasteful and obnoxious mismanagement of our tax dollars. The benefits are not even remotely this clear cut. Being first at something, even in the guise of being progressive, is not always a positive move.

    See also my comments/opinions below this article at Fleet Forward:

    Paul Braren
    June 09, 2021 @ 8:26 PM

    I'm just a civilian who owns 2 Model 3s, and has seen the Westport Police Model 3 up close during several showings to the public. Here's my attempt to answer your questions.

    Q: So no partition for the bad guy
    A: This vehicle is used for speed enforcement, so the rear seat doesn't get used, so it wasn't outfitted with a prisoner transport cage.

    Q: and what happens during a 70 mph rear collision?
    The rear crumples, as it should, absorbing the energy to lessen the forces on the bodies. The Tesla Model 3 tests as lowest probability of injury of any car ever tested globally, here's the NHTSA test results as one example:

    Q: Additionally, if you must travel offroad or through a median...what then? Will it make it due to low ground clearance?
    A: The Model Y might be better suited if ground clearance is a priority, with 1.2" additional ground clearance. There are aftermarket lift kits available for Model 3 and Model Y.

    Q: Also, most LE vehicles come into contact with other vehicles, does this one carry enough mass to execute a pit maneuver or capacity to carry swat gear or a K9?
    A: Yes, it's 4,250 lbs, see also how stable it is from attempted pit maneuver on it at

    Q: This comparison should be more in line with a civilian non "real" duty application. Though I do applaud the fuel savings and CO2 reduction for sure!
    A: That's fair, but a properly equipped Model Y sure seems likely to be up to the task, see:

    Disclosure: I've known Executive Editor of Fleet Forward Chris Brown, since childhood.

    See also at TinkerTry


    See also

    • TCO Deep Dive: Do Teslas Pencil Out as Police Cruisers?
      Jun 08 2021 by Barry Kresch at Fleet Forward

      The police department of Westport, Conn. acquired a Tesla Model 3 for police duty and put it into service in February 2020. According to the Westport Police, this Tesla was the first in the U.S. to be fully tricked out for law enforcement. Barry Kresch, president of the EV Club of Connecticut, worked with purchase, customization, and operating expense data provided by the Westport PD to ascertain the cruiser Model 3’s operating costs to date and project total cost of ownership (TCO) for four years, the normal cycle for Westport’s patrol fleet. The analysis was subsequently reviewed and confirmed by the city.




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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!