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Electric charge: Tesla Model X earns Victoria Police stripes as first EV highway patrol car

The Tesla Model X has joined the Victoria Police fleet.

Police in Victoria have just put a whole new spin on charging crooks, with a Tesla Model X joining the fleet for highway patrol duties.

In what police are calling "one of the first in the world", the Model X won't just be used a liveried display vehicle, but rather will be put to work on Victorian roads.

The Tesla SUV began silently prowling Victoria's streets today (with battery-electric tech, sneaking up on crooks has never been so easy), part of a broader development study on the suitability of EVs for police duties.

Vic Police has worked with Tesla, as well as its usual emergency vehicle suppliers, to ensure the Model X is a fully operational highway patrol vehicle.

“This vehicle is unlike any other Victoria Police has ever had in its fleet and could well be the future of road policing in this state, country and the world,” says Road Policing Command Assistant Commissioner, Stephen Leane .

“Our Highway Patrol cars are equipped with cutting edge technology and this car gives us the opportunity to investigate having these technologies in a fully integrated in-car system which has the potential of streamlining the road policing effort.

“There is also a great environmental benefit to electric vehicles and considering our State Highway Patrol vehicles travel thousands of kilometres on the road per year, we should always be looking at ways we can lessen our impact on the environment.”

Tesla recently overhauled its Model X offering, increasing the range for cars fitted with a 100kWh battery pack to a 575kms. Which doesn't sound an awful lot, given the length of Australian highways. The zero to 100km/h time of around 4.5 seconds, however, sounds much better suited to chasing down traffic offenders.

Vic Police has worked with Tesla, as well as its usual emergency vehicle suppliers, to ensure the Model X is a fully operational highway patrol vehicle. Vic Police has worked with Tesla, as well as its usual emergency vehicle suppliers, to ensure the Model X is a fully operational highway patrol vehicle.

“It is important to remember this is a concept vehicle for Victoria Police and we acknowledge that it will produce a number of unique circumstances and will continue to evolve as police software is integrated,” Leane says.

“Vehicles are obviously critical to the work we do as they represent the mobile office for many of our frontline police and projects such as these mean that when the switch does inevitably happen, our job of keeping Victorians safe will not be compromised.”

What do you think of the Tesla Model X as a police vehicle? Tell us in the comments below.