BMW wins LAPD electric car contract, beating Tesla – Los Angeles Times

Posted: Wednesday, June 08, 2016

German automaker BMW has beaten California-based Tesla Motors Inc. by winning a contract to supply the Los Angeles Police Department with 100 electric cars.

BMW will deliver 100 of its i3 all-electric plug-in vehicles, which the LAPD will use for community outreach and police business.

In the last year, the LAPD has been seen testing Tesla’s P85D, a variant of the Model S that has been discontinued. The Police Department was apparently looking at buying or leasing the replacement, the P90D, but decided on the BMW i3 instead. 

Weak and small compared to the mighty Tesla, the BMW is also more affordable. The small German electric car costs $42,000, or well under half the Tesla’s price.

While the Tesla is capable of massive acceleration, top speeds suitable for high-speed chase and a range of almost 300 miles, the smaller, more moderate i3 accelerates quickly, has a lower top speed and can go only 80 to 100 miles on one electric charge.

But the i3 can also be purchased, for an additional fee, with a gas-engine “extender” that increases the vehicle’s range to about 150 miles.

Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti hailed the move, saying, “We should be thinking green in everything we do,” and adding that the adoption of electric cars will “also save money and resources.”

In making the announcement, BMW said the availability of a large network of BMW “i centers,” which can service electric vehicles, influenced the LAPD’s decision.

The fact that the LAPD uses BMW motorcycles in its fleet may also have helped seal the deal.

BMW said Greenlots, a company that manages electric vehicle charging networks, would supply 100 Level 2 and four DC fast chargers to the LAPD.

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12:24 p.m.: This article was updated with information about the LAPD’s testing of the Tesla vehicle and about Greenlots. 

This article was originally published at 10:05 a.m.


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