South Pasadena police goes electric with Tesla leases


The police of South Pasadena, California, is set to run a fully electric fleet by early next year and says it was the first city in the US to do so. The city will lease 20 Teslas through Enterprise to perform patrol duties, administration, and detective work.

The leasing agreement, which includes ten Tesla Model Y vehicles and ten Tesla Model 3 vehicles, is worth nearly $2 million in city funds and will run for at least five years. Additionally, the city has received $500,000 in funding from a committee that aims to reduce vehicle pollution in the South Coast region.

South Pasadena Police Chief Brian Solinsky stated that electric vehicles would be the best operationally for the city since they are the safest and fastest vehicles and will save the city money in lower maintenance and fuel costs. Furthermore, Councilmember Michael Cacciotti, who pushed for the transition to electric cars, believes South Pasadena is setting the gold standard for the US and the world.

To support the electric police car fleet, more than 30 charging ports, including some for public use, will be installed at South Pasadena City Hall parking lots in partnership with Southern California Edison. The city expects to save more than $300,000 per vehicle over the next ten years in fuel and maintenance costs. Most of the city’s police vehicles are ready to be replaced and will either be turned in or auctioned off, according to Deputy City Manager Domenica Megerdichian.

South Pasadena is not the only city taking steps to decarbonize its police operations. New York City is also making efforts to transition its municipal fleets, including patrol cars, to electric vehicles, but it still has a long way to go. The NYPD faces a daring task with over 6,200 vehicles within the 30,000-strong NYC fleet. However, they have made some progress with the recent addition of Ford Mustang Mach E cars and an order for 250 Tesla EVs.

South Pasadena is part of Los Angeles County and has a population of around 25,000.


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