Elon Musk calls Swiss police ‘smart’ for adopting Tesla Model X SUVs

'The bad guys will def not escape,' Musk quips on Swiss police adopting Model X

New Swiss police cruisers will be cleaner, cheaper, and way faster than the dirtier cars used now. The Basel-Stadt police department focused on economy and ecology in its decision to replace current diesel-powered vehicles with Tesla Model X police cars.

Though the department has already faced a backlash from naysayers, particularly in regard to cost, it does have at least one fan of its decision. Tesla CEO Elon Musk, not one to mince words, called the move a “smart” one. “Plus,” he added, “the bad guys will def not escape.”

Environmental concerns were foremost in the search for new police cars. Because the choice of fully electric vehicles that meet the department’s requirements is limited to a single source, the usual process of soliciting competitive bids was bypassed. The Tesla Model X more than meets the department’s needs.

Current police vehicles in service in the area travel an average 120 miles per day. That distance falls well within the Tesla’s 310-mile range per full charge. The acquisition plan also includes two electrical charging stations for the central vehicle storage and maintenance facility, and two stations in each of two additional police stations.

The Tesla Model X’s payload, storage space, and excellent handling figured in the Swiss decision, but ownership and operational costs plus clean air were the most important factors.

Basel’s current diesel police cruisers each cost about $97,000. At approximately $147,000 fully equipped with specified police equipment, the Tesla initial purchase cost is higher than the diesel-powered cars they will replace. Operation and maintenance will cost less for the Teslas and eventual resale value will be higher, according to the police department. Overall, the plan is a financial and environmental win.

Drawing from the department’s 1 million Swiss franc budget allocation (approximately $1,048,000), the first of seven ordered Teslas is due to arrive in the fall of 2018. The rest of the SUVs are slated for delivery in 2019, police spokesperson Martin Schütz said in an interview with Telebasel.

The Basel police department’s decision was relatively easy, despite accusations of police driving luxury cars and questions by local politicians concerning why BMW or Mercedes weren’t considered.

“The planned replacement of diesel combi vehicles … by the Tesla Model X 100D brings only advantages in terms of economy and ecology as well as in view of the existing storage space in the vehicle and safety,” Schütz told Telebasel.

Basel-Stadt’s isn’t the only police department to choose Teslas. The LAPD uses electric vehicles for various functions and has tested the Tesla Model S for patrol use. Police departments in Denver, Colorado; Ontario, Canada; and in England and Luxembourg are currently testing or employing Tesla Model S sedans, reports Electrek.

Updated on March 22: Added Elon Musk’s response to Swiss police using Model X in their fleet. 

Product Review

The 2019 Porsche Macan S is a luxurious and quick SUV, but it's no road tripper

The roster of models challenging the Porsche Macan grows annually. The German firm updated its smallest, most affordable SUV with a new engine, more tech features, and subtle design tweaks to keep it looking fresh.
Smart Home

Espresso On Demand: The five best Nespresso machines

Most people still trek down to their local coffee shop to get an espresso or a cappuccino, but you don't have to. A Nespresso machine can put coffee shop quality espresso on your kitchen counter.
Cars

These winter-warrior cars will never leave you out in the cold

Snow can be an absolute pain if your vehicle isn't optimized to handle that sort of terrain. If brutal snowstorms are an annual part of your life, we recommend you pick up one of these winter-ready vehicles.
Cars

Thinking of opting for a car with a diesel engine? Here's what you need to know

Modern diesel-powered models prove that it is possible to build a clean, efficient diesel engine without sacrificing performance. Here's what you need to know about diesel cars, and how they differ from gasoline-powered models.
Cars

LM Industries’ autonomous shuttles head to Phoenix, Sacramento campuses

LM Industries will deploy Olli low-speed autonomous shuttles at school campuses in Arizona and California as part of its ongoing "fleet challenge," which asks local groups to propose uses for autonomous vehicles.
Cars

Bosch’s CES-bound shuttle concept takes us on a trip to a not-too-distant future

Bosch envisions a future in which driverless shuttles occupy their own market segment. The German firm won't build the shuttles, but it wants to provide everything else, ranging from the drive system to the apps used to hail them.
Cars

Driving a prototype 2020 Passat at Volkswagen’s Arizona Proving Ground

Volkswagen’s Arizona Proving Ground is where new cars are tested to the breaking point, including the 2020 Passat midsize sedan. Ride along as the new Passat completes testing ahead of its 2019 launch.
Emerging Tech

A lidar-equipped truck knows exactly how much de-icer to apply on roads

Lidar is best known as the laser-based technology that helps self-driving cars sense their surroundings. But the city of Knoxville has another, more seasonal use for it: De-icing roads.
Product Review

Boring takes a back seat as 2019 Corolla Hatchback mixes fun with practicality

We drive the 2019 Toyota Corolla Hatchback, the latest hatchback to bear the Corolla name. As the best-selling nameplate in automotive history, Toyota has high expectations to meet. This model mostly lives up to the legacy.
Cars

Hertz speeds up car rentals with biometric scan technology

Biometric security technology that uses face, fingerprint, and voice recognition is gaining traction, with Hertz emerging as the latest company to incorporate it into its daily operations.
Product Review

Inside Maserati's Levante SUV beats the heart of a Ferrari

Maserati’s luxury SUV gets a shot in the arm by way of Ferrari-derived V8 power, but is it enough to go toe-to-toe with the established players in the high performance sport-utility segment? Let’s find out.
Mobile

McLaren puts the pedal to the metal in special-edition OnePlus 6T

The OnePlus 6T is yet another flagship killer smartphone, bringing powerful specifications to a much lower price than the competition. Now, OnePlus has teamed up with McLaren for the OnePlus 6T McLaren Edition.
Cars

Aston Martin’s 1,000-hp Valkyrie will boast the Mona Lisa of the engine world

Aston Martin has released new details about its F1-inspired Valkyrie hypercar. Co-developed with Red Bull Racing, the Valkyrie will be one of the most aerodynamic production cars ever made.
Cars

The redesigned 2020 Passat shows Volkswagen still believes in sedans

The sedan segment in America is shrinking, but Volkswagen still believes in it. The German firm has released a teaser sketch to preview the redesigned 2020 Passat it will introduce during the 2019 Detroit Auto Show.