Barrington resident wants police department to go electric

Magnus Thorsson says police should be driving Teslas

By Josh Bickford
Posted 4/15/21

Barrington resident Magnus Thorsson drives a Tesla, and he believes Barrington Police Officers should as well.

Mr. Thorsson has been pitching Barrington officials on the idea of switching over the …

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Barrington resident wants police department to go electric

Magnus Thorsson says police should be driving Teslas

Posted

Barrington resident Magnus Thorsson drives a Tesla, and he believes Barrington Police Officers should as well.

Mr. Thorsson has been pitching Barrington officials on the idea of switching over the fleet of police vehicles from Ford Interceptors to the Tesla Model Y. He said the Teslas are superior in performance and fuel efficiency, and over the long term, will actually save Barrington taxpayers money.

“I would love to hear an argument for a car that makes more sense than this one,” Mr. Thorsson said.

It was about a year ago when Mr. Thorsson first pitched town officials on the idea of replacing Barrington Police cruisers with Teslas. Mr. Thorsson, who drives a Tesla, had previously lived in Vermont and had served as a town council member there. He rolled out the idea to the police chief in that town and built an argument as to why it made sense.

When he moved to Barrington he decided to offer the proposal to officials here.

Mr. Thorsson said the Model Y costs about $52,000 to purchase, which is significantly more than the Interceptor’s price tag of $33,000. But, he added, the Tesla lasts longer. He estimated the life of the Tesla to be 10 years, compared for six for the Interceptor. Mr. Thorsson created an analysis that offers the capital costs for both vehicles and operating costs for the vehicles — the side-by-side comparison shows better financials for the Model Y, he said.

“I spoke to the (police) chief. He said he was open to it and wanted to consider it. (Barrington Town Council President) Michael Carroll is in favor it,” Mr. Thorsson said.

Barrington Police Chief Dino DeCrescenzo said he has reviewed Mr. Thorsson’s proposal. He said there are questions surrounding the space inside the Teslas compared to the Interceptors and the Ford Explorers driven by officers — he said there is more space inside the current vehicles.

Chief DeCrescenzo also said the price of the Teslas would likely increase when the department adds other necessary equipment, including the light bars, prisoner cages, and on-board computers. Chief DeCrescenzo said the department’s current cost for cruisers includes all the needed police equipment.

“I’m getting a police package for $33,000," he said.

The chief acknowledged that it is likely just a matter of time before all police departments are driving electric vehicles, but he is not sure he wants Barrington to be the first one. Chief DeCrescenzo said it might be a wise decision to switch over other town vehicles to electric first.

Mr. Thorsson said that because of the useful life-span for the Teslas, the police department will actually save money equal to the cost of a new Model Y every 10 years.

Need for speed?

Mr. Thorsson, who teaches college courses on sustainability and climate change-related topics, said the Tesla Model Y offers superior performance compared to the current police vehicles.

He said the Tesla accelerates from 0 to 60 mph in 4.1 seconds, while the Ford does it in 6.9 seconds.

“It’s not even close,” he said.

Mr. Thorsson said the Tesla has the highest safety ratings, and it is far better for police detail work. He said that while gas-powered vehicles’ engines must idle to run the on-board computers, Teslas’ battery packs can run on-board computers while not churning out emissions.

“You’ll have access to all the electricity you’ll ever need,” he said.

Mr. Thorsson’s proposal also included a “cost-per-mile” analysis, comparing the gas-powered engine to the electric. He said the cost per mile for the Tesla was four cents per mile, while the Interceptor was about 11 cents per mile.

“There’s an incredible difference,” he said.

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