RCMP officers on Vancouver Island are testing out electric vehicles in their fleet.

The West Shore RCMP detachment requested a Tesla Model Y last year to achieve environmental goals, according to an RCMP media release.

That request was granted. But while the Tesla has been in use as a police vehicle for a week, West Shore officers are not yet willing to comment.

“After each operational use the police officer completes a survey so we can evaluate the cars performance for general duty use,” Cpl. Chris Dovell said in an email. “It would be premature to speak to the tradeoffs or initial impressions.”

The release admits that electric vehicles are not suitable for most RCMP detachments.

“This is the first ever fully-electric RCMP police vehicle and we’re proud to be piloting it here in the West Shore detachment,” Supt. Todd Preston said in the release. “Our geography and mild winter weather make this an ideal test environment.”

Two more electric vehicles – a Ford Mustang Mach-E and the Ford F-150 – are also expected to arrive at the detachment this year for testing.

“Adopting electric vehicles into our fleet demonstrates the RCMP’s stewardship and commitment to innovation in policing,” Preston said.

The approximate cost of maintenance and fuel for a West Shore cop car is $11,100 annually, and that doesn’t account for the steep rise in inflation over the past year.

“We predict the cost of charging and maintaining an electric vehicle will be significantly lower than the cost of maintaining a gas-powered vehicle,” said Preston. “Since a single gas-powered vehicle emits approximately 2.3 kilograms of CO2 per litre of gas, the positive environmental impact of replacing internal combustion engine vehicles with electric vehicles is also significant.”

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