Location: Marshville, NC
Fleet Type: Police Department Electric Vehicles

 

Narrative

The Town of Marshville is a community approximately 30 miles from Charlotte, NC, with a population of just over 2,500.  It is located along Highway US 74, a heavily trafficked corridor that connects commuters to the Charlotte area and travelers from the Charlotte area heading east to the coastal beaches.

The Town purchased a Tesla Model 3 vehicle for the police force when the police were having issues with the availability of a comparable internal combustion engine. The vehicle is considered a pilot for the municipal fleet. The Tesla cost more than the comparable vehicle, but the police expected the decreased maintenance costs to offset the upfront cost difference.

The vehicle was upfitted to match the existing police patrol vehicles. The modifications were adding a laptop stand, laptop charger, radar unit, radio, lights and siren. Officers who drive the vehicle did not receive formal training but had time to adjust to the layout of a new vehicle and the vehicle’s capabilities compared to other fleet vehicles.

Outputs & Outcomes

Outputs:

Marshville Police Department has 1 EV, a Tesla Model 3. The police budget funded the purchase without outside funding. The vehicle price point was $41,000, approximately $3,000 – $6,000 more than the equivalent Dodge Charger and Dodge Durango.

Outcomes:

The police department has saved money on maintenance since purchasing the Tesla. As of December 2023, the vehicle has not required any maintenance. Typical patrol vehicles need an oil change 3 – 5 times annually. Estimated monthly savings from the EV compared to internal combustion engines is $250, with fluctuations in savings based on fuel costs.

Best Practices & Lessons Learned

The police department’s biggest challenge was determining how to upfit the vehicle and had to think outside of the box. Staff worked with the manufacturer to identify and successfully implement modifications.

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Marshville Fleet Story

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